Globalisation, National Identity and the Transformation and Renovation of Museums in France and Mainland China

Abstract

In the neoliberal era, to attract more visitors, museums serve not only as cultural landmarks but also as commodities. The new role leads to a transnational and consumer-oriented subsequent form of museums. Many private museums and royal palaces are renovated into publicly accessible consumer-driven architecture. Such a transformation sometimes employs globalised identities, involving collaborative architectural practice in balanced cultural exchanges of ideas. However, since the museums are national projects, they are guided by governments more or less different agendas. So as to understand the role these governments play with, comparisons between two national landmark museums - the Louvre Pyramid in Paris and the Northern part of the Palace Museum in Beijing - will be made here, according to their extension and renovation. The paper analyses similarities in museum situations and it investigates different renovation strategies to fulfilling the respective transformation. Moreover, it discusses causes and effects between the functions, political situations and global practices, associated with ‘governmentality’, referring to the economics and politics in the 1980s’ France and the 21

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