Page 14 - EuroVision – Museums Exhibiting Europe (EMEE). The E-book
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of an object have to foster the visitors’ capacity for dealing with cultural complexity. In pursuing this goal, museums depend on interacting with various social communities that constitute, or should constitute, a museum’s audience.
THE BASIC IDEA OF THE EMEE PROJECT
The main objective of the EU-culture project ‘EuroVi- sion – Museums Exhibiting Europe’ was to develop and explore a concept of (history) museum develop- ment that complies with the EU’s cultural policies that expect national cultural institutions to support the civil society of Europe. With this goal in mind, the EU’s cultural policy perspectives also ask history muse- ums to contribute towards the integration of a mul- ticultural Europe and to attract socially and culturally diverse audiences in order to reinvent the museum as an important social space where encounters with cul- tural heritage fosters social interaction, dialogue, and mutual understanding.3 While the EU recommends that museums take on an active role in society and strengthen European identity, the EMEE project start- ed with two questions:
1. What implications could the aforementioned cul-
tural policy perspectives carry for the many local,
regional, and national history museums across Europe whose collections do not explicitly en- gage with transregional or European history?
2. What kind of concept of a ‘European identity’ and of exhibiting ‘Europe’ could be right for those museums, which are often closely related to local and regional history, in the light of growing diver- sity across Europe’s multicultural societies?
In order to be able to answer these two questions, the EMEE project drew on basic concepts that are used by the discipline of History Didactics, which is a scienti c  eld of research concerned with teaching history in schools and conveying history in public and which distinguishes between the following areas of specialization: historical culture, historical conscious- ness, and historical identity. The research of the His- tory Didactics addresses the question of how ‘Euro- pean identity’ could be conceptualized by underlining the idea of complex and multi-layered identities that consist of different parts and comprise, for example, a local, national and European identity all at once. Thus, History Didactics prefers a concept of cultural identity that acknowledges the complexity of identity refer- ences and the diversity of historical experiences in
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