The Reluctant Museum: When Sacred Meets Secular

By Jeni Ryde.

Published by The International Journal of the Inclusive Museum

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper will examine whether the commodification of the Renaissance through international heritage tourism is impacting Catholic Church sites in Tuscany, Italy holding Renaissance heritage materials and resulting in the introduction of museological practices.
It will propose that the tension between the Church and heritage tourism is leading to the emergence of the ‘reluctant’ museum through the apparent transformation of particular churches into quasi museums with dual functions: both sacred and secular. This paper is part of a broader study which will explore the new role of the Catholic Church in managing the sacred space and the ‘museum’ space of three sites in Tuscany. The paper is a preliminary investigation of the museological implications of management interventions at one of these sites.

Keywords: Tourism, Catholic Church, Renaissance, Museum

International Journal of the Inclusive Museum, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp.43-52. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.207MB).

Jeni Ryde

Head of Program, School of Humanities and Languages, The University of Western Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Jeni Ryde is a senior lecturer at the University of Western Sydney in Interpreting and Translation and Italian Studies with specializations in the Italian Renaissance and Italian Cinema.


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