We believe that all museums, whatever their typology, are potential Human Rights Museums. And that is really so because all museums can, from their own perspectives, refer to the rights and duties that regulate the lives of their audiences.
It is obvious that museums focus their activities on the topics that concern their typologies. Thus, art museums deal with art and beauty and science museums deal with innovation. But today, the museums that best attract their audiences are those that generate exhibitions in which they not only exhibit their beautiful or historical collections, but also are able to move and encourage reflection on aspects of our own lives.
We are finishing the first quarter of the 21st. century. The digital revolution is pushing us from a stable and well-known structure to a new and temporary one. We all have to update or even re-format ourselves periodically.
If museums do not focus on identifying and reflecting the needs of the people, they will fail in their mission of service, at the risk of becoming only entertainment providers or private temples for academics.
Museums need to be attractive to diverse audiences, and this can be achieved by creating exhibitions that refer to day-to-day problems. But they must do so by reflecting the multiplicity of voices and setting a framework for respectful confrontation, thus contributing to building consensus.
This seems to indicate that one of the most urgent challenges for our museums is to align their objectives with the needs of their communities.
An impossible task? A difficult challenge, but that is how museums would best serve.