How does an object enter the Mucem?
New objects are brought into the MuCEM’s collections by group decision. Whether a donation or a purchase, each acquisition plan is first presented by a member of the museum’s scientific team during an initial Collections Committee meeting attended by all the team’s members, held each month. The person bringing the matter to the team explains the interest of the proposed object, from an historical, aesthetic, heritage and/or cultural point of view, defends the purchase price if applicable, and describes its state of conservation.
Wherever possible, that presentation is made with the actual physical object in question, so that everyone has the chance to examine it. A vote then takes place. If the committee votes in favour, the object is presented again, to the Acquisitions Committee, which meets three times a year, attended by the members of the MuCEM’s team, but also professionals from other museum institutions, curators, experts and restorers. A vote is held by secret ballot after that presentation. Finally, if the objects exceed a certain value, defined by decree, they must be presented to the National Museums Art Council which meets in Paris. Objects that have passed the entire process then become de facto collection pieces and are recorded in the inventory. They are then inalienable, meaning they must be preserved indefinitely.
By Emilie Girard, Mucem curator and director of the collections department