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Battle for the Museum - Cultural Institutions in Crisis

  • Innbundet

  • 2024

  • Engelsk

Culture and power have been bedfellows since ancient times—in the case of exhibits and collections, now more than ever. Protests force out patrons and curators, and pressure museums to abandon fossil fuel sponsorship. Campaigners demand equality and diversity, condemn exploitation of artists and staff, and urge restitution of imperially tainted objects. 

Journalist Rachel Spence has watched visual arts become a flashpoint for today’s social divisions. She interviews artists, activists, directors and donors, revealing elitism and injustice. Business and finance launder their reputations through patronage, while governments exert authority by weaponising or attacking the arts—and gallery-goers and workers mobilise to demand better. How did we get here, and what awaits these institutions?  

From China and Russia to Helsinki and Brooklyn, from the British Museum to the Louvre and Guggenheim in Abu Dhabi, Battle for the Museum uncovers a dark nexus of capital, art and power—and radical resistance movements fighting fiercely for exhibition spaces that serve today’s public.

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