(University of Fribourg)
Paper Short Abstract:
Museums produce cultural heritages that sustainably contribute to their institutional transformation and local variations of Europeanization. I focus practices of reorganization and re-classification of two national ethnographic museums in France and Germany in the wake of the EU enlargement.
Paper long abstract:
Museums do not only preserve cultural heritage, but they also produce it. To show this, I have examined practices of institutional reorganization and re-classification in the musealization- processes of the Musée des Civilisations de l'Europe et de la Méditerranée (Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations, MuCEM) in Marseille and the Museum Europäischer Kulturen (Museum of European Cultures, MEK) in Berlin. Specifically, the present contribution traces how these two museums produce a cultural heritage that sustainably contributes to the Europeanization of both institutions after having been aligned since the late 19th until the late 20th centuries to national (linguistic) boundaries.
The analysis reveals similarities between the European political interests of Germany and France in the wake of EU enlargement. The MEK in Berlin, thereby, created a new profile as a cultural-political player in the German-Polish relations. The opening of the MuCEM in Marseille was made possible through the promotion of the then President Nicolas Sarkozy - as part of his Mediterranean policy. The expansion and redefinition of the agricultural history collection exhibited in the "Galerie de la Méditerranée" at the museum's opening in 2013 gives one example for the above mentioned musealization practices.
In both cases, heritage works as an important mode for the actualization and legitimation in the reorganization- processes of these national ethnographic museums.
Heritage as a European product