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THE POETICS AND POLITICS OF EXHIBITING CULTURES AT THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF ETHIOPIA [Abstract ID: 0206-22]
The principal task of a National Museum in the 21st century is not only to preserve and display its collection but also it must be a place to help the community shape its identity and bring different ethnic and cultural groups together. In addition, it can also be a catalyst for regeneration through the creation of new venues and civic spaces, and a resource for developing the skills and confidence of members of those ethnic groups/communities. Therefore, National Museums are gradually recognizing the need to go beyond collection, conservation and education of tangible heritage. In multi-ethnic societies peoples need to be properly represented and presented with their collection in the museum. This is the fact that National Museum of Ethiopia either implicitly or explicitly denies the opportunities for balanced representation and presentation of various ethnic groups and their identities.The question of representation in the National Museum of Ethiopia (NME) is currently becoming a controversial issue among the multi-cultural societies in Ethiopia. Mainly, the need of representation is critical among the societies which were less influential in politics and government since the NME was founded in 1944. This paper argues that the solution for such issues of Poetics (sensitive) and Politics of culture of the museum and its failure to serve the interest of the Ethiopian society.