Deciding what to exhibit in museums: does it really matter?

By: Veronica Barbara

Of all the abundant papers focusing on museum environments, few dismantle the decisionmaking process which characterizes the planning of displays and site presentations, going beyond space restrictions and physical needs of ancient artefacts. Such an approach is essential to understand why these decisions matter. A natural question which is seldom asked is, why display to the public in the first place? The present paper will start with this question, discussing briefly the two main theoretical stances in current western discourse on the subject. Two local case-studies will follow, supplemented by examples of projects which revolve around archaeology and communities. In the conclusion, theory and case-studies will be brought together in order to explain the link between archaeologists and nonarchaeologists vis-à-vis archaeological heritage presentation.