We had the opportunity to attend the biannual meeting of Danish archaeological open-air museums. In January 2019, 75 people attended three days of intense learning and exchange. Many of the participants work directly with the public, so it is not just a conference for museum managers. Part of the program was hands-on, part were presentations between the museums of their new programs and ideas. EXARC got the chance to show the Danish colleagues what is happening elsewhere in the world and extended an invitation to them to come visit museums abroad.
In the shoulder of the conference, we had the chance to visit several remarkable Danish museums. Den Gamle By in Aarhus is a historic open-air museum with translocated houses from city environments in Denmark, Hjerl Hede is a historical open-air museum in central Jylland with among others a reconstructed early stone church, and Moesgaard Museum is well known for its five year old new building and very well made exhibitions.
It is clear that one needs to be large and robust to survive as a museum. There is competition between the museums, but they are all in this boat together and act like that. It was very interesting to see the current state of the Danish open-air museums.
Bay, J. 2004. Educational Introduction to the Historical Workshops in Denmark, in: EuroREA 2004/1, 129-134.
[online] Available at: < https://exarc.net/sites/default/files/exarc-eurorea_1_2004-educational_introduction_to_the_historical_workshops_in_denmark.pdf > [Accessed 6 February 2019].