Forbidden collections? Dilemmas in the National Museum of Antiquities

12 June until 28 October 2007

Forbidden collections? Dilemmas in the National Museum of AntiquitiesForbidden collections? Dilemmas in the National Museum of Antiquities

How does one present an Egyptian mummy, stripped of its bandages, to the main audience? How to handle war art or objects that came from an illegal dig? Which dilemmas play a part in collecting and presenting objects in a museum? The exhibition 'Forbidden collections? Museological issues in the National Museum of Antiquities' offers a look behind the scenes and challenges you to give your opinion about current issues.

There has been much discussion about what museums may and may not do. Can we exhibit human remains, or should we let them rest in peace? What role does the provenance and authenticity of a work of art play? Should we dispose of parts of our collections?


The special exhibition 'Forbidden Collections?' concerns all kinds of dilemmas related to collections and exhibitions of objects.
The National Museum of Antiquities formulates clear positions about these dilemmas, using interesting examples and genuine objects. You get a unique glimpse behind the scenes in this surprising interactive exhibition. How does the museum handle issues such as:
- Provenance?
- Human remains?
- Authenticity?
- Collecting/deaccessioning?

Join the discussion

Furthermore, the exhibition challenges you to form your own opinion. Is a museum allowed to exhibit Egyptian mummies? What about objects from an illegal excavation? How long are claims to looted possessions from the Second World War valid? And are we allowed to invisibly restore a mound of fragments in order to present it as a Greek vase? You can join the discussion on a special website (in Dutch).