Crown, Church and People: History of National Museums in Spain
Title: Crown, Church and People: History of National Museums in Spain
Author: LANZAROTE GUIRAL, José María
Citation: Peter ARONSSON and Gabriella ELGENIUS (eds), Building National Museums in Europe 1750–2010. Conference proceedings from EuNaMus, European National Museums: Identity Politics, the Uses of the Past and the European Citizen, Bologna 28-30 April 2011. EuNaMus Report No. 1., Linköping, Linköping University Electronic Press, 2011, 847-880
ISSN: 1650-3686; 1650-3740
External link: http://www.ep.liu.se/ecp_home/index.en.aspx?issue=064
The present report provides an overview on the history of national museums in Spain as well as an analysis of a selected set of case studies. In the first part of this report a historical outline of the creation and evolution of museums is provided from the point of view of the enlarging scope of the concept ‘national heritage’. The choice of national museums in the second part exemplifies the role played by different categories of heritage in the construction of national master narrative in Spain, including fine arts (Museo del Prado), archaeology (Museo Arqueológico Nacional) and nature (Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales). The study of the Museum of the Americas (Museo de América) allows to explore the complex relationship between Spanish national identity and the imperial past, whereas the Museum of History of Catalonia (Museu d’Història de Catalunya) leads reflection to the competing nationalist projects within the state. Finally, the case of the Museum of the Spanish Army (Museo del Ejército Español) is considered in the light of the contemporary debates on ‘historical memory’ that have marked its recent renovation.
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