A life accumulates a collection: of people, work and perplexities. We are all our own curators.

— Richard Fortey

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I wonder if we are seeing a return to the object in the science-based museum.

Since any visitor can go to a film like Jurassic Park and see dinosaurs reawakened more graphically than any museum could emulate, maybe a museum should be the place to have an encounter with the bony truth. Maybe some children have overdosed on simulations on their computers at home and just want to see something solid--a fact of life.

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Museums have no political power, but they do have the possibility of influencing the political process. This is a complete change from their role in the early days of collecting and hoarding the world to one of using the collections as an archive for a changing world. This role is not merely scientifically important, but it is also a cultural necessity.

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The great proliferation of museums in the nineteenth century was a product of the marriage of the exhibition as a way of awakening intelligent interest in the visitor with the growth of collections that was associated with empire and middle-class affluence. Attendance at museums was as much associated with moral improvement as with explanation of the human or natural world.

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You must not lie about trilobites, nor yet about time.

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I believe profoundly in the importance of museums;

I would go as far as to say that you can judge a society by the quality of its museums.

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