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date: 28 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The purpose of this chapter is to examine the surge of identity politics and the diversification of heritage and the tensions that arise with the traditional role of national museums that are expected to support the model of a unitary national identity through their narratives and collections. Engaging with distinct patrimonies and transformations in museums checkmates stagnant notions of heritage, but in turn, these actions might also instigate resistance to change. A case study at the National Museum of Colombia will provide an insight into competing notions of heritage, which can be understood as the relics of a material past, but may also be seen as the meanings created about the past. This analysis instigates thoughts about the role that history and historians might play in the elaboration of narratives of identity.

Keywords: heritage, national museums, identity politics, multiculturalism, representation, public history

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