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FROM WONDER CHAMBERS TO DIGITAL COLLECTIONS: THE PRESENTATION OF CULTURAL HERITAGE AS A MOTOR FOR DEVELOPMENT [Abstract ID: 0206-03]
This keynote speech will address the issue of the development of museums in Germany/Europe from private, princely or church collections of curiosities and natural “wonders” to the contemporary form of modern museums as institutions and as virtual entities. Early collections of the 16th century were only accessible to a privileged public, the collections served to increase the image of the collector as wealthy, worldly and sophisticated. The rise of presenting collections to the public occurred at the beginning of the 19th century which resulted in the foundation of specific subject museums. The change of ownership from private to public museum, mostly in the 20th century, had implications for the way a museum had to finance itself and its aims: collecting, conserving, researching, presenting. With this in mind, I will look at the situation of museums in Ethiopia, briefly reflect their beginnings and their development as well as status quo. Museums are in Europe and they may become in Ethiopia a place where not only heritage is preserved but also knowledge is shared, ideally it is a forum where innovative ideas are being produced. Museums as hotspots, places of interest and a factor for economic growth and with the digitalization of museum collections as well as virtual walks through exhibitions, the next step has been done towards a new paradigm for dealing with cultural heritage.