chapter  15
10 Pages

The Issue of Repatriation for Natural History Museums in Europe: Attempts at the Sharing of Heritage between Science and Traditional Societies

This chapter focuses on how museum professionals can and should tackle sensitive topics within historical themes. In 2007, Glasgow Museums purchased a Glasgow-built steam locomotive that had been exported to South Africa in 1945. The Riverside Museum opened on 21 June 2011 after almost ten years of planning and construction. A different approach was taken by the planners of the museum, placing the focus of the visitor experience on the role that transport has had in people's lives, placing the user of the object at the centre of the interpretation. When developing the plans for the new museum, staff at Glasgow Museums conducted extensive visitor research. The South African Railways locomotive number 3007 was built in Glasgow by the North British Locomotive Company and was exported to South Africa in 1945. They would notice no black South Africans working as locomotive drivers, or firemen, or engineers. These occupations were reserved for white South Africans under the 1956 Industrial Conciliation Act.