Monday, March 26, 2018

Denmark’s past is rotting away in its museums

Inside a European museum store

In the last three years, mold has been discovered in 118 storage facilities around Denmark. Roskilde Museum is a typical example, where up to 70,000 items are in danger of being permanently lost, Poor storage facilities mean that mold is destroying cultural heritage.(Howard Jarvis, "Denmark’s past is rotting away in its museums" Tourism 21 March 2018)
Mold and decay are getting the better of artefacts from the past that are hidden away in Denmark’s increasingly musty museums [...] Danish museums are fighting a losing battle when it comes to preserving the country’s cultural heritage. Many of the storage areas used by museums are not fit for the purpose. Often they are in old buildings such as redundant schools, cellars, attics and even barns, which lack the air conditioning systems necessary to control the temperature and keep away the damp.   As with the parallel issue of declining visitor numbers, this is not a new problem. In 2007 and again in 2014, the national auditors Rigsrevisionen sounded the alarm to the Culture Ministry, according to the media reports. Politicians and state funders are not taking the matter seriously enough [...] But museums cannot expect financial relief from the culture ministry any time soon, the minister Mette Bock responded, saying, “I must make it clear that there is no extra money for museums this year.”
It is a no-brainer that underfunded museums need to sell off some of these stored items to collectors to look after, and get the  funds to look after the rest.

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