The Transformation Machine is a speculative artefact that enables people to see how their perspective on European heritage might alter the holdings of vast museum databases. It was created as part of a ‘futurescaping’ workshop for museum professionals to explore the scenario of deleting a significant part of European museums’ collections to respond more closely to the evolving notion of ‘European-ness’ and its constantly changing values. The machine gave the option to participants to reduce the discarded objects into a small token containing only a limited set of crucial attributes from the original. The transformation machine introduces a shift from the binary alternative between preservation and deletion by suggesting a mid-way solution as a means for preserving only the features deemed to be significant and contributing to the definition of the artefact as an expression of European-ness. This design experiment addresses the complexity of meanings, values and criteria for defining heritage.