DOI: 10.3390/heritage6120407 ISSN: 2571-9408

Addressing Sustainability in Portuguese Museums and Heritage: The Role of Cultural Policies

Ana Carvalho, Clara Frayão Camacho
  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)
  • Archeology
  • Conservation

The Future Museums Project Group was created under the Portuguese Ministry of Culture with the mission of proposing recommendations for a 10-year public policy for museums, palaces, and monuments, considering sustainability, accessibility, and innovation issues and their relevance in society. Against this background, museums were understood as agents of change with a role to play in achieving a more sustainable future, and culture as a fundamental pillar for democracy and sustainable development. This study discusses the findings of the project, focusing on three features that highlight the approach adopted to sustainability, which included collections management, participation, and mediation. Drawn from empirical research, a series of concrete recommendations, both for policy makers and museums, are discussed. The study concludes by arguing that cultural policies must place sustainability at the core of their strategy in order to function as a framework to drive and implement sustainable development practices in museums and heritage. Furthermore, within the scope of post-pandemic recovery plans, climate emergency, and the energy crisis, it is even more pressing that cultural policies provide support for museums and heritage and ensure that they have the conditions and resources to be able to move forward in a more integrated manner, thus contributing to a sustainable future.

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