Culture announces the first steps of its plan to decolonize museums, although for now only in two

Culture announces the first steps of its plan to decolonize museums, although for now only in two
Culture announces the first steps of its plan to decolonize museums, although for now only in two

Six months after Ernest Urtasun announced his commitment to decolonize state museums, the Ministry of Culture has begun to work on the plan with which it will carry it out, although for the moment it will only affect two of the collections: those of the Museum of America and the National Museum of Anthropology. The administration is going to create two advisory groups that will prepare a technical report that, as they indicated in a statement, “will serve as a basis for the drafting, in 2025, of the preliminary project of the new permanent exhibitions” of both centers.

The committee will include proposals on conceptual lines, the museographic script and the selection of pieces to be exhibited. Each committee will be made up of technical staff from each institution together with external advisors “appointed based on their academic and professional career.”

The Ministry indicates that “all sectors involved in the project” will be represented, both “institutional and academic.” There will be university professors, professionals and artists; as well as “experts from communities or groups, whose participation – as the expert on this subject María Iñigo Clavo explained to this newspaper – is necessary for the plural construction of such discourses.”

The portfolio led by Urtasun indicates that the groups will meet “on a regular basis”. This work will coincide with the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the National Museum of Anthropology in 2025. For this date, the management of the centre has set itself the challenge of “conceptual and formal renewal” of its “identity signs and permanent exhibition”, as well as presenting “a new way of approaching the narratives around its collections”.

In the case of the Museo de América, which a few months ago changed 200 labels that contained offensive or discriminatory terms, they also “see the need to move forward with a new museographic discourse.” With its update, they intend to attest to the “evolution that Spanish society has had in its values, ideals and composition.” Precisely in this center is the Treasure of the Quimbayas that Colombia formally claimed from Spain in mid-May. A request on which no progress has yet been made.

 
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