My concern in this chapter is to explore the implications of two perspectives for our understanding of the relations between museums, nations, empires and religions as these have developed from the late eighteenth century to the present. I derive these perspectives from Kevin Hetherington’s suggestion that museums are ‘seeing-saying machines’ that act as points of emergence ‘in which some social relations are established and others are broken down’ (Hetherington, 2011: 459). Hetherington puts forward this view in the course of discussing the implications of Foucault’s account of power when interpreted through the lens of Deleuze’s concept of the diagram. This, in rough summary, consists in the distinctive orderings of the relationships between the seen and the said that inform the operations of particular institutions: schools, factories, and, of course, museums too. Hetherington draws on this concept of diagram to highlight two aspects of the part museums play in the processes through which particular forms of power are shaped and exercised. The fi rst consists in the transformative capacities of the truths – the models for new realities – that they produce and circulate. The second concerns the operation of these truths in the context of multiple, intersecting power relations rather than as vehicles for the transmission of a single principle of power holding sway over the entire social order.