Ministero per i beni e le attività culturali

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Museums at the service of society and its development

Museums as a tool to defend tangible and intangible cultural heritage, comprising buildings and other property, play a fundamental role in society, in the promotion of sustainable development and intercultural dialogue. They offer opportunities for research and for formal and informal education. They are also an important stimulus for creativity, and contribute to social and human development throughout the world.

The interpretation of the social role played by museums is reinforced by the “Recommendation concerning the Protection and Promotion of Museums and Collections, their Diversity and their Role in Society” (Paris, 20 November 2015), approved by the 38th UNESCO General Conference on the 17th of November 2015.

According to UNESCO, museums should be considered as an engine for development. They have a relationship with the economy, tourism, social inclusion and quality of life.  From the point of view of their social role, “museums are vital public spaces that should address all of society and can therefore play an important role in the development of social ties and cohesion, building citizenship, and reflecting on collective identities”.

Overall, the document represents a source for analysing the principles that inspired the Ministry of cultural heritage reform.

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