Article | Last updated: 2014-12-08 | Ministry of Culture
The museums are one of the main elements in maintaining a collective memory and these institutions play an important role when it comes to developing and communicating information about how humans understand and interact with their surroundings.
The museums benefit from a large professional independence at the same time as they face a lot of challenges when it comes to defining what is relevant and important in the perspective of society. A professionally independent position providing the museums with the freedom to act to be able to ask critical questions regarding both the past- and contemporary time also requires that the public authorities remains on an “arm’s- length” distance.
The Gift Reinforcement Program for Museums
The Government aims to strengthen a free and independent cultural life by among other things creating more sources of funding. The Gift Reinforcement Program for Museums is a concrete encouragement to more cooperation between private and public actors.
The Museum Network
The museums are spread all over the country and together they constitute a network that is preserving, administrating and communicating the width of the Norwegian cultural heritage. After the completion of several mergers of museums in 2014 there are 65 consolidated museum units in the national museum network. The museums that belong to the Ministry of Culture has a yearly number of visits of approximately 6 million and they are important meeting points for art experiences. The basis for the communication work are large collections of objects and approximately 5 000 cultural historical buildings.
Reform of the museums
The most important that have occurred within the museum field during the last few years is the reform of the museums. This has lead to the fact that more than 300 museums have merged with the result that now there are less than 70 consolidated museums. The object of the reform was to strengthen the museum technical environment across the country. The consolidation processes have affected the owner structures, the ownership and the organizing. Despite huge challenges it seems like the re- arrangements have made the museums stronger, both with reference to the running [of the museums] and professionally, and with reference to the administration and research.
Support to museums and other cultural heritage purposes
Yearly, through Ministry of Culture’s budget, more than a billion NOK are awarded to museum and other cultural heritage purposes. The main purpose of these allocations is that the museums shall serve as a basis for knowledge about, understanding and experience of culture and society and in a way that shows continuance and change, coherence and difference. The main part of the allocation goes to the administration of the museums in the national museum network. In addition support is awarded to other cultural heritage efforts.
The county authorities and the county municipalities benefiting from the competence, the communication and other services from the museums are partially responsible for the financing of the museums.