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Even Better than the Real Thing?

Digital Copies and Digital Museums in a Digital Cultural Policy


This article investigates how a digital turn and digital copies have influenced ideas, roles and authorities within a national museum sector. It asks whether digital museums and their digital reproductions expand and/or challenge a traditional cultural policy. Two specific cases are highlighted to inform the discussion on these questions – the Norwegian digital museum platform DigitaltMuseum and Google Art Project. The article argues that there is a certain epochalism at play when the impact of a digital turn is analysed. At the same time, some clear major changes are taking place, even if their impact on cultural policies might be less than expected. I propose that one of the changes is the replacing of authenticity with accessibility as the primary legitimating value of museum objects.

The article