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Museums have been undergoing considerable changes in past decades, moving away from being depositories of treasured objects in favor of places of social engagement, learning and entertainment.For its opening week, the National Museum of Qatar assembled directors of prominent international museums to discuss the future of museums and what makes a museum "great". Moderated by Museum of Islamic Art in Doha Director Julia Gonnella, "Great Museums of the World" gathered NMoQ Chairperson Sheikha al-Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, National Galleries of Scotland Director-General Sir John Leighton, State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg Director Mikhail Piotrovsky, Paris' Musee d'Orsay director Laurence des Cars and Adam Weinberg, director of New York's Whitney Museum of American Art.While these museums are diverse in their intended audience and collections, the consensus seems to be that the future of a successful museum lies less in how important the objects are than in placing the viewer at the heart of a museum. While museums like the Louvre, London's British Museum and Washington's National Museum of Natural History are "world-class" homes of unique treasures, they've become so popular that some people end up having a less-than-positive experience.Many museums have even stopped placing information labels, according to Piotrovsky, having to account for language access, braille and whether people will even read them.
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