Museums Association emphasises UK role

Patrick Steel, 22.01.2013
MA publishes policy on work with four nations
The Museums Association has published a document setting out its policy on work with England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The document sets out the MA’s remit to represent all four nations, to understand and highlight their different priorities and policies throughout all of its activities, and to advocate for equitable distribution of resources and attention for all museums from both national and UK governments and agencies.

Rowan Brown, MA board member and director of the Scottish Mining Museum, said: “It is good to be able to clarify the position of museums across the UK and to see the MA take its UK-wide role seriously.

“It is important that the MA leads the way on devolved culture because not many other organisations are, and it can be difficult for people to understand, for instance, how serious and omnipresent questions around devolution are here in Scotland.

“It is not just England and the rest of the UK. Each nation is very different in its own way.”

Mark Taylor, MA director, said: “Clearly the MA likes being the UK body for museums and we are anxious to maintain that status and emphasise those things that work across borders.

“But part of that is understanding and acknowledging different circumstances and priorities in each of the four nations, and ensuring that museums in all four countries are treated equally.

“We will continue to work to further the interests of museums in all four nations together and separately.”


MA and the nations (word)


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MA Member
24.01.2013, 22:12
Let's hope the Museum Association continues to promote the shared interests and values of the museum profession across the four 'nations' and focuses on the needs of the people museums exist for. Devolution has its many obvious positives, but it also has its negatives: parochialism and pointlessly being different. Geography is not a vital factor in defining the role of museums in our lives and in society, nor should we overlook the fact that the people who use museums and interact with heritage are very complex individuals not units that can be badged up according to the whim of political elites in London, Cardiff, Edinburgh or Belfast.It would be a real loss if knowledge and understanding of what is going on in other parts of the country drops to the levels of knowledge of what is happening internationally in museums and the MA is probably the only vehicle, apart from individual initiative, that can ensure that doesn't happen.