The museum as mirror Museums keep our cultural heritage safe. Their galleries and store rooms keep objects that have been selected as historically significant or socially representative secure, hauled up in elegant stasis and protected from physical decay. Once admitted into the museum, objects are kept alive on the vast life support of interpretation, narrative and meaning that the museum machine generates and sustains. Principally organised around a taxonomic categorisation of knowledge and its material remains, the museum project ‘conjoin[s] multiple experiences of time and space . . . in order to preserve, order, educate and collate’ (Mills 2008: 46). It is this drive to order that distinguishes a visit to a museum from a trip to a shopping mall. Visitors to museums expect to benefit from time spent there (willingly or under duress) and the stories suggested by the displays define the identity of a museum, in turn contributing to and reflecting our greater sense of individual and collective identity.