The Never-ending Story About Heritage and Museums: Four Discursive Models

Mikel Asensio and Elena Pol

The present chapter attempts to articulate an integrative perspective on heritage and its models of presentation, particularly on its relation to historical and cultural learning. First, recent developments surrounding heritage and its conceptualization will be analyzed, in addition to some fundamental issues. Second, the citizen as a producer, user, and decision-maker with regard to heritage will be focused upon. Third, heritage presentation spaces will be addressed, that is, in situ heritage, museums, and exhibitions. These presentation spaces are among the current privileged settings for coming into contact with historical knowledge. They are a fundamental tool for history education because they can be accessible to society as a whole and throughout the citizen’s life. Heritage presentation spaces gain social relevance. From the economic perspective, they result in very substantial investments, and in many cases, they become the center for processes of urban and territorial distribution. However, they also constitute a field of ideological debate.

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