The meeting is intended for employees of museums and galleries, representatives of other memory institutions, teachers, students, as well as their founders. The previous editions were held in 2002, 2005, 2009, 20013 and 2016. The conference was supposed to emphasize whether and how we have moved in the past period, where the field of museology is headed and how it responds to global developments. How the coming changes affect us and how the role of museums in society is evolving. The conference program included five thematic units: Strategy, vision and new perspectives, Tools and prerequisites for development, From the perspectives of science and research, New trends in presentation and interpretation, and Protection of cultural and natural heritage. An incredible amount of 33 speakers from the Czech and Slovak Republics, Austria, Ukraine, Greece and Cameroon spoke. Especially the first conference day was really packed with contributions. I think that after such a demanding day, most of the participants welcomed the possibility of an evening tour of the National Museum's new exhibits. I myself very much welcomed this great opportunity. The tour was followed by an informal meeting of the participants in the hall of the museum. We were able to talk in peace with colleagues and acquaintances, whom we have met at the previous conferences.
Since 2016, when the conference was held for the last time, many changes have taken place that have significantly affected the activities of museums and galleries. The political and social situation has changed significantly, museums and galleries have had to react to new realities, such as the coronavirus pandemic, the war in Ukraine and the related energy crisis. At the same time, the virtual social communication network has also changed, which, whether we like it or not, significantly affects the perception of cultural institutions in society. I therefore expected that the selected contributions would focus more on examples from practice than on a general description of the activities of individual institutions. I had the feeling that the subtitle of the conference did not fully cover its topic. However, this was not the case with all lecturers. As an example, I will cite the contribution of Prof. PhDr. Michal Stehlík, who reflected on the changing source base, new media and the work of a historian and curator of contemporary history. The new tool MOI Framework, thanks to which it is possible to choose and evaluate the strategic goals of museums and galleries, was presented by colleagues from the museum in Pilsen. In her contribution, Ing. Mgr. Ivana Kocichová addressed the mapping of changes in museum exhibitions between 1990 and 2020. As an educator, I was of course very impressed by the contribution of my colleague Bára Kulihová, who presented examples from practice with visitors/pupils with special needs.
I would like to thank my colleagues from the National Museum for the warm welcome and also the opportunity to view the museum's exhibits after opening hours.
The conference was held in cooperation with the Association of Museums and Galleries, the National Museum, the Czech Blue Shield Committee and the Czech Commission for UNESCO.
Pavlína Pitrová, October 2023