Your judgment should tell you when an invitation to such a meeting or event is improper and should be refused to prevent embarrassment and to avoid what may be an unintentional violation of this policy or the law. Moreover, exhibitions organised in consultation or collaboration with the communities represented is now a reality in many museums, especially in North America and Australia. The development of this code has been a collaborative process involving representatives from across the museum sector, funders, interest groups, members of the public and other stakeholders. In New Zealand, awareness of Maori beliefs about the spirituality of their taonga treasures has led museums to exercise an increased respect: great care is given in handling the objects, ceremonies are performed to bless the taonga, and in some cases a bowl of water is placed at the entrance to galleries where taonga are displayed so that those who wish to do so may sprinkle water on themselves as a protection against the strong spiritual powers of the taonga. Trustees hold the ultimate fiduciary responsibility for the Museum of Science and for the protection and nurturing of its various assets: the collections and related documentation, the plant, financial assets, and the staff. Trustees and employees are encouraged to support this fund raising effort but must coordinate all activities with the Director of Development.
Can a label possibly evoke its emotional, spiritual, religious, or other qualities? In most cases visitors are completely unaware of this. It shall, of course, be the responsibility of all those having supervisory authority to assure consistent adherence to this code and any procedures developed pursuant to it, in letter and spirit, and, when appropriate, to obtain legal or other advice through normal channels. Properly understood, it is not diversity itself but talent that meets the minimum threshold that is diverse. London and New York: Leicester University Press, pp. And so on and so forth. The Museum promotes diversity in its hiring, retention, promotion and board recruitment efforts and in the programs it develops for its constituencies. The selection of that executive and the continuing monitoring of his or her activities are primary Board responsibilities that cannot be delegated and must be diligently and thoughtfully fulfilled.
London and New York: Routledge, pp. Insurance: The museum will ensure that objects in the museum collection are insured while on and off the premises of the museum including objects that are part of a traveling exhibition. To help all staff meet their potential and to sustain the Museum and encourage its growth, the senior staff model professional conduct and provide leadership, clarity, and respect for individuals and for diverse points of view. This collective endeavor strengthens museum work and the contributions of museums to society—present and future. Trustees with special areas of interest within the Museum should understand that advocacy for those interests should be advanced only within the framework of the Museum's interests as a whole. Museology Quarterly 23 1 : 5—24.
The Impact of Layout on the Spatial, Social and Educational Experiences of Visitors to Museums and Galleries In: McLeod, S ed. When our emotions passions lead us to feel something is good that experience in reality tells us is bad, then we experience an ethical moment because two goods feeling good and acting good are in conflict. Museum professionals must use their best efforts to ensure that exhibits are honest and objective expressions and do not perpetuate myths or stereotypes. Hope and Practice at the National Museum of the American Indian In: Peers, L and Brown, A eds. What is the cost to the museum, beyond financially? Works put in contest of their original physical setting such as churches and homes can change the perception of the objects, as context endows certain values. A way forward may be to sensitize the public on ethical issues related to the display of human remains, and share professional concerns with them.
The first set of questions revolves around the need to provide content with context: How to approach the subject at hand? They must develop and define the purposes and related policies of the institution, and ensure that all of the Museum's assets are properly and effectively used for public purposes. Museum ethics are preeminently about values, and ethical questions often arise from having to deal with competing values. In most instances these are objects of cultural importance to non-western people that have flooded western museums as a result of colonial, conflict, or trading activities. If you observe unknown individuals using terminals in your area, immediately report this to your supervisor. Genres like recount, narration, report, explanation, or discussion are culturally specific and what is suitable for one community may be unsuitable for another. On Friday, Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott will return two looted idols seized from Australian museums during a meeting with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi in New Delhi. Information not otherwise available to the general public about the activities of the museum, including administrative or non-scholarly activities, the staff, trustees, or volunteers may acquire in the course of their duties shall not be used for personal advantage or other purposes.
Contesting Human Remains in Museum Collections: The Crisis of Cultural Authority. This value guided the creation of and remains the most fundamental principle in the following Code of Ethics for Museums. In short, I think these things need to be considered on a case by case basis given the varying profiles, resources, location, content, audience etc. The museum complies with applicable local, state, and federal laws and international conventions, as well as the specific legal standards governing trust responsibilities. That context also includes a body of information about the object that establishes its proper place and importance and without which the value of the object is diminished.
The Museum must remain free to improve its collections through selective disposal and acquisition, and to sacrifice specimens intentionally for well-considered analytical, educational, or other purposes. Museum ethics are about personal commitment and a sense of moral accountability to the various groups that museums serve. It is important to remember that exhibitions communicate values, and that these values are often competing or contested. An Introduction to Museum Archaeology. In contrast, some museums have been experimenting with new and innovative ways of adding to their collections and displays without having to resort to dubious acquisition practices. It has been adapted to meet the specific demands of the Museum of Science as it exists today.
For the visiting public this may entail empowerment, increased sensitivity towards delicate issues, exploring new ideas, and the breaking of stereotypes. All employees, within their areas of responsibility, are expected to adhere to these established controls. This prohibition covers activities such as making campaign contributions, organizing or encouraging the purchase of tickets to political fundraising events, using museum facilities or resources for campaign-related activities, and publishing, making, or distributing statements for or against any candidate, where such activities are — or may appear to be — undertaken on behalf of the museum. The entire staff is charged with the responsibility for ensuring the safety of the collection. The role as dynamic actor is under evolvement, aiming at continuous improvement.
Museums, thereby, affirm their chartered purpose, ensure the prudent application of their resources, enhance their effectiveness and maintain public confidence. Posted September 4th, this article talks about a Shiva statue and other objects that were looted from India and sold to an Australian museum. Is the original mission damaged? Objects collected by the Museum must be relevant to its purposes and activities, be accompanied by a valid legal title, preferably be unrestricted but with any limitations clearly described, and be properly cataloged, conserved, stored, or exhibited. Indeed, it has been suggested that ethical questions should primarily be understood as conflicts in cultural values. The name and reputation of this Museum are valuable assets and should not be exploited either for personal advantage or the advantage of any other person or entity. Integrating Native Views into Museum Procedures.
London and New York: Routledge, pp. A Philosophical Perspective on the Ethics and Resolution of Cultural Property Issues In: Messenger, P ed. Thus far there has been a considerable lack of assessment on what actual techniques museums are using, or should use, to ethically frame and display the humanity of these mummies after centuries of non-ethical consideration and dehumanisation. The Museum of Science does more than avoid legal liability; the Museum takes affirmative steps to maintain integrity so as to warrant public confidence. Today, the range of their special interests reflects the scope of human vision. The museum has finally decided to return two of the statues to India, though they still retain some of the stolen items. They construct representational meanings and build up a particular view of the subject matter at stake.