Expert-Museolog Zenoviy Mazuryk: “Museums for social show, not the monetary value of things”

— What is the mission of museums today?

All museums collect, maintain, explore and present show. The modern trend is that the Museum should be a place for dialogue between different heritages and memories.

Evidence of the past is signs, symbols, meaning of which is revealed in different contexts. And the task of the Museum staff — shaping the context, to raise questions and seek answers to them: who we are, where we go, how together we can find common ground? There should be an emotional component in museums, games. Through play, people learn. But the game should be well organized using interactive methods. There is even a term “edutainment”, meaning learning through entertainment.

New methods of Museum communication are already used in Ukrainian museums — for example, in the National art Museum of Ukraine, Museum Ganenkov, in the literary Museum in Kharkov, in Odessa Museum. Bleshunov. In the Museum of natural history Lviv has a temporary exhibition “the Art of survival” about how animals survive in the urban environment. But it’s not so much playing with exhibits, as the game is “on” with exposure. For example, different quests, search tour. In the search process, the audience will learn something new, help each other, interact.

— While people in museums quite a bit. What you need to do to make more of them?

— The objective is not to earn as much money as possible from visitors, increasing their number. The function of the Museum — social, to serve the development of society. To form the person of the citizen, which has memory, based on human values. And the number of viewers is not so important. There are tourists who ran into the Museum, took a picture on phone and fled, they say, home view. I saw in the Louvre as the Mona Lisa was standing near a crowd with cameras. But they did not see what they show.

We have to work with visitors, to interest, to come to the Museum again. For example, doing work with seniors, children, people with disabilities. Museums do not show the monetary value of things, social and public. And when the visitor will understand it is the job of the Museum will be considered as well.

— How important is private or public investment in museums?

The Museum can be private, but he is still a non-profit organization. It may not be self-sustaining. Still always requires additional financing from the budget funds and other sources.

In the contemporary Museum environment is very important to be able to attract partners. The task of the state is to support the museums, but public money is never enough. Then come to the aid of private investment. For example, the United States has no Ministry of culture, and museums do not have direct financing from the budget. But there are a lot of incentives that attract private money. There is a very large donor market, where businesses, foundations and wealthy (and not only) people support the museums activities.

In Europe a very common form of the Museum management through funds or limited liability companies which are created from the Museum staff. They have the experience, professionalism, and appropriate education. They take on responsibility for the Museum and extend its capabilities. There is a tendency for the autonomy of museums, which helps them earn more money. In our country, the Museum policy is very static, we have no new methods of management of museums.

But the upgrading of museums is still going on? The changes in museums?

Yes, museums are professionals, responsible and diligent. But the development of the Museum must be built from below and from above. In Ukraine, the activities of museums, as I said, due to imperfect cultural and Museum policy.

If we take the example of Poland, there have been major changes in the Museum and cultural policy. And there was something lacking professionalization, research institutions that are engaged in the study of Museum issues. We have a lot of museological departments and specialties in universities, but this is not enough. We do not have master’s programs, there is no regulatory obligation for the Museum staff to periodically they were improved their skills as researchers. Changes in the world require new knowledge and skills. And we must constantly replenish their knowledge, to apply them in practice.

Continuing the theme of Poland: there is a Warsaw uprising Museum, the Museum of pan Tadeusz, the Chopin Museum, there are interesting museums in Gdansk, Krakow, Wroclaw. This modern museums, which use modern means of communication where not very many objects in the exhibition, but the theme reveals the deep, there are opportunities to interpret a variety of people. Because the Museum activities are used not only in science, history or art history and others — philosophy, sociology, anthropology, pedagogy, communicology, etc.

— How the project “Dynamic Museum” of Rinat Akhmetov Foundation was able to help Ukrainian museums in the development?

— This program has given much — not only money but also knowledge, and acquaintance with very interesting people, with museums. The contest “Dynamic Museum” gave impetus to the so-called “dynamization” of the Museum’s activities in Ukraine. The project was considered 25 applications, selected two museums. The winner of the competition of the Lviv natural history Museum, having unique exhibits famous in the world Museum community and for 20 years was closed to visitors. A grant from Rinat Akhmetov’s Fund was not allocated for the repair of the Museum itself, and the development strategy and the creation of a new permanent exhibition. Thanks to him, the employees were able to get acquainted with the best examples of natural history museums in Europe. The Museum has conducted a number of seminars, conferences, workshops on strategic planning, on the basis of which was developed the concept of development of Lviv Museum.

In the framework of the project “Dynamic Museum” of famous experts from Germany, Georgia, USA delivered a series of lectures on museology. It is very important for Ukrainian museums. Another winner, who won the competition “Dynamic Museum” Ivan Honchar Museum in Kiev, has updated its ethnographic heritage and showed it in a modern aspect.

In General, for museums right now. Not always run the core functions of the museums, they must survive, no matter what. Projects such as the “Dynamic Museum” of Rinat Akhmetov Foundation, give a chance to Ukrainian museums to reach a new level through the filing of the exhibits and interactive communications with visitors.