Muzea. Muzealnictwo. Prawo muzeów
On museums, museology and the law on museums
Languages of publication
The paper presents the author’s views on the museum as an institution and museums in general as a set of problems connected with their organisation and operation and relevant laws and regulations which apply to such areas as: cultural heritage and cultural awareness and their significance in cherishing memory, tradition and a sense of community, as well as issues related to museum ethics and the education of the professional staff working in museums. The development of museums since antiquity is presented, together with the main world collections gathered over centuries, and the circumstances in which they were created and sometimes destroyed is described, including the legal regulations that have governed them. In this context, the specifics of the working of museums established on Polish territory during the partitions of the 19th century and, in particular, their functioning in occupied Poland during two world wars are discussed, with particular focus on the irreparable losses suffered by Polish culture in the 20th century. The process of the unlawful takeover of those museums by the state after the second world war together with all its consequences such as a disregard for the traditional autonomy of museums, or the taking away of many collections from their legitimate private owners which led to the disappearance of local identities and the cultural awareness of society have also been described, followed by a critical analysis of legal regulations governing museums in Poland today.
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