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Title: Cultural property in practice : the role of French museum professionals
Author: Golomoz, Cristina
ISNI:       0000 0004 7966 0852
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2018
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There has recently been a proliferation of cultural property rules and standards at both international and national levels. This thesis examines the relevance, significance, and influence of these norms on the ground. I study them from a 'law in action' perspective by focusing on a rarely-seen aspect of museum practice: curators engaging with cultural property law and ethics. What is the application of legal and ethical rules in curatorial practice? What significance do they have in museum work beyond their practical application? How have they shaped different aspects of curatorial practice? To address these questions, the thesis uses three Parisian museums as case studies and field sites: Musée du Quai Branly, Musée du Louvre, and Muséum National de l'Histoire Naturelle. It takes an empirical and informant-driven approach, and describes how French curators refer to and follow various legal and ethical norms relating to the protection and administration of museum collections. The thesis shows that the way in which cultural property norms and standards are applied in museum practice is not homogenous. Rather, there is variation in how the actors involved in using them on a daily basis - in this case, curators - understand and appeal to them in their practice. Certain norms acquire a status akin to moral principles, whilst others prescribe the correct or accepted way of conducting different museum tasks. The thesis also shows that the use and interpretation of cultural property is influenced by factors that do not directly relate to these norms. In the French case, the most important such factor relates to the close relationship that exists between museums and the state.
Supervisor: Pirie, Fernanda Sponsor: New College ; Oxford ; Economic and Social Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available