The paper analyzes the concept of sustainability in European governmental museum policies. It takes into consideration great modern art museums, particularly Tate Modern. On the one hand, the issue of sustainability is linked to art museums inasmuch these institutions operate for the sustainable common good of the community. On the other hand, it is considered from the so called “three bottom” approach as also corporations and business companies have approached it. In a so called “three bottom” approach, museums’ pursuit for environmental, economic and social sustainability is related to their eligibility for funding and it is indeed an economic rather than a cultural issue. Though, modern art museums’ sustainability relies not only in developing economic and environmental strategies but mostly in creating cultural policies that favor art museums in accomplishing same tasks but from different curatorial and managerial perspectives. A long-term sustainable museum model steps beyond Foucault’s notion that art museums are “heterotopy”, i.e. spaces that present art as an alternative phenomenon outside reality. On the contrary, a sustainable model for museums acts as “archètopy”, i.e. a space (tòpos) where decisions, narratives, meanings involve practitioners, beholders, curators and trustees since the tenet (archè) of the creation process.
Il Capitale Culturale, 2013, Issue 8, p. 235-250
Sustainability; Museum Management; Museum Cultural Policy