Page 98 - EuroVision – Museums Exhibiting Europe (EMEE). The E-book
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self-image of the producers since their imaginative projections are the basis for the construction of the ‘foreign’. The most obvious starting point, which can be found in many local and regional museums, is art- work that interprets and mixes biblical themes such as Jesus' birth in Bethlehem or the worship of the ‘Three Wise Men from the East’ with local or region- al, but, in any case, autochthonous details. Similarly, presentations which focus on the topic of Europe and the other continents re ect the self-image of Europe and the perception of the own – allegedly: superior – position in the world. Even the way of presenting ‘exotic’ objects in a museum exhibition sometimes reveals more about the cultural self-concepts of the museum than about the foreign culture.
Also interesting and important are objects which re-  ect the view of the ‘others’ or the ‘foreign’ on the own culture. Engaging with the unfamiliar exterior view on the elf not least encourages the question how ‘foreign’ our ideas of other cultures may appear to their members.
THE OBJECT AS AN ‘ICON’
It can be informative to examine whether the muse- um possesses objects which are perceived as ‘typi- cal’ for the own or a foreign region, for the own or a foreign culture or also for Europe. The questions may thereby be illuminating why the objects are externally or locally perceived as ‘typical’ or how this status of the ‘typical’ has emerged (e.g. also marketing, iden- tity politics, tourism).
The ICOM-volume2 may also be taken into con- sideration, in which the different museum directors in Europe present typically ‘European’ objects from their collections. Likewise, also the local public on site may be approached with the question which objects local- ly exhibited in the museum are perceived as ‘typically European’ and for what reasons. The presentation of the results will certainly reveal new meanings of the local objects.
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