I think this sounds like an incredibly exciting, but giant, potentially fraught project. I look forward to following the progress. I think I read about this a couple of years ago, but assumed that nothing had come of it.
Other examples of museums where the buildings are as important (so sites of memory really) as the objects which really struck me are:
1. Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin. Important site in the national identity of Ireland and the struggle for Independence due to it’s links to the Easter Uprising and the fact that most major players in the Irish independence movement were housed or executed there.
2. Auschwitz I in Poland. Each country that was involved was given a barrack and curated their own museum memorial to their nationals and their experiences. The results are fascinating. Some are very abstract, some very dense with information. Each one has a different take on the role of their nation during the Holocaust, Austria’s, for example, starts with an almost apology that whilst the Moscow agreement identified them as ‘the 1st victim of Nazi aggression’ and this idea had persisted for a long time, this view and rejection of any culpability had been reexamined. Israel’s doesn’t end with the liberation of the camp or the end of the war like many others, but with the establishment of the State of Israel. It’s like a museum of attitudes towards the Holocaust and Holocaust remembrance in different nations, as well as a site of memory and inextricably linked to the events it describes.
I love museums in which the building is an important an object as any in the collection.
Hmm. Maybe I should run a best museum building series of posts. What do you think?
Do I have enough followers to be asking them questions like this?