The mission of the Museum derives largely from its definition by ICOM over time. Since 1946 until today the definition evolved but kept the essence of scientific, research, collection development, preservation and restoration activities that the heritage safekeeping institution mandatorily adopts, and also added new facets to the communication activities that make the museum a dynamic entity, with an important role in the community and in the service of the public, a valuable source of education and loisir requested and accepted by the community:
“Un musée est une institution permanente sans but lucratif au service de la société et de son développement ouverte au public, qui acquiert, conserve, étudie, expose et transmet le patrimoine matériel et immatériel de l’humanité et de son environnement à des fins d’études, d’éducation et de délectation. (ICOM, adoptés par la 22e Assemblee générale à Vienne (Autriche) le 24 aout 2007)”
“Le premier est que les musees ont une mission de service public, dont la valeur pour la communaute est directement proportionelle a la qualite des services assures.” (Code of ethics, ICOM, Barcelona, Spain, ICOM’s 20th General Assembly).
Therefore, the Museum is an institution that, being in the service of the society and its moral and spiritual development, takes responsibility for part of the cultural and ethical values of a community.
The Museum studies, collects, manages, preserves and restores ethnological heritage from collections or from the field; what individualises and makes it different from other museums is how it communicates and especially how it relates to the community, in terms of supporting and promoting traditional and/or modern cultural values by meeting the various spiritual needs of the community and promoting creativity and intercultural and interethnic dialogue; it promotes both the specific values of the rural side and of the urban, modern community, meeting the needs for identity and education in the respect of its value and opening a way to knowing and respecting the Romanian spirituality in a dialogue with the cultures of the world. Therefore, by changing the traditional order of the operations that characterise the activity of a museum, we intend to pay special attention to:
Development of the function of valorisation of the museum heritage through education and entertainment, focusing on museum-related training and education (Educational Centre), by means of non-formal methods, ensuring coherent communication and promotion of programmes and projects in consideration of its European and national brand and trademark; permanent meeting of the spiritual needs of the community as cultural and entertainment centre, raising awareness of the community on knowing and respecting the ethnological heritage by diversifying the public promotion activities and developing a new attitude in relation to the community; development of an own strategy to gain the loyalty of the community by organising activities according to its needs, by monitoring, feedback and adapting the programmes and projects aimed at educational and cultural valorisation of the museum heritage to the current problems identified in an urban community such as that of Bucharest.
The scientific approach cannot be excluded from the museum-related activity and refers to knowing, developing and saving (“comprendre pour sauvegarder”) the cultural heritage entrusted for administration; development of research, collection, preservation and restoration of the museum heritage; diversification and publication of the heritage research activities; keeping centralised scientific records and digitalisation of cultural assets; as ethnological safekeeping institution, it delivers the conventional functions of an open-air museum by supporting and promoting the traditional or modern cultural values and meeting the various spiritual needs of the community, promoting creativity and dialogue between the past and the present. It promotes both the specific values of the rural side and of the urban, modern community, opening a way to knowing and respecting the Romanian culture and spirituality in a dialogue with the cultures of the world. This is also the vision of the Village Museum, which involves treasuring up and communicating the perennial creations of the Romanian people, but also promoting multiculturality and diversity through dialogue with ethnic groups (project Ethnic communities in Romania), promoting the traditional Romanian culture in dialogue with the cultures of the world (Dialogue of civilisations), transmitting the heritage to future generations (preservation and restoration, scientific records), cultivating the respect for Romanian and universal values through research and knowledge.
The research programme (in the field and in the collections) focuses on listing vernacular architecture, studying the evolution of the village, ethnic community and traditional occupations, researching, developing and communicating the stored collections (editorially and as exhibitions); also, important programmes and projects have been reserved for reorganising the heritage storages in compliance with European microclimate and preservation standards, as well as creating databases by continuing the scientific recording process year after year according to CIDOC standards.
The research programme of the Museum comprises 3 areas:
EMERGENCY ETHNOLOGY – Field and archive research with the following objectives:
- Changes of vernacular architecture occurred over the last decades – Promoting the specific values of Romanian village architecture (tradition and modernity)
- Revival of the professions related to vernacular architecture – Training centre for builders and restorers of traditional houses
- Listing of vernacular architecture monuments in the field and listing of the architecture specific to Romanian communities around country borders
- Evolution of the village in relation to embracing the European civilisation and developing new mentalities
- Evolution of the villages researched by the Sociological school
- Ethnic groups in Romania and interethnic cohabitation
EMERGENCY MUSEOLOGY – Scientific recording of collections
- Preparation of analytical charts and heritage classification and reassessment files;
- Administrative records of collections – up-to-date completion of inventory registers;
- Preparation of collection catalogues; digitalisation of the heritage records and of the documentary archive.
- Research of the monuments in the open-air exhibition and supplementation of information; reconstitution of family history and supplementation of information with data about the owners.
- Capitalisation of the studies on museum heritage and making them available to the public in modern forms, attention paid to various types of visitors, including the underprivileged ones
RECOVERED NON-MATERIAL HERITAGE – Study of intangible heritage
- Supplementing the database of non-material heritage and of the collection “Customs”
- Researching traditional domestic crafts and occupations and their evolution
- Studying the evolution of the educational system in the countryside
- Researching the most important customs specific to the calendar cycle and life cycle
- Researching certain important rite and ritual elements specific to the calendar cycle
- Researching the Christian and pre-Christian religious structures, as well as the religious heritage in the museum collections
STUDIES IN THE FIELD OF HERITAGE PRESERVATION AND RESTORATION
- specialised research in order to know the status of heritage preservation and to use certain methods to protect it by applying the principles of preservation and non-invasive work methods;
- heritage scientific investigation studies
- operation of the secretariat of the Technical Committee for Standardisation of cultural assets preservation 380 national correspondent for TC 346 – (CEN) standards on mobility of collections, exhibition of heritage, labour protection in the field of preservation and restoration, restoration of immovable heritage
HERITAGE PRESERVATION AND RESTORATION
- Applying non-invasive preservation and restoration methods, adapted to the construction materials of the object, and emphasising the preventive preservation activity at all times
- Applying preservation and restoration methods based on observance of the construction traditions for the monuments in the open-air exhibition;
- Designing the modernisation and fitting of heritage storages and reorganising them on scientific bases
- Supplementing the modernisation of preservation and restoration laboratories
- Supplementing the database on restoration- and preservation-specific documentation; digitalisation of preservation and restoration records
- Preventive and curative preservation and restoration of movable heritage: Preventive preservation of the movable heritage from storages, the permanent exhibition and temporary exhibitions
- Preservation and maintenance of the constructions in the permanent and in situ exhibition