RICHES | 2015-2017

Renewal, Innovation and Change: Heritage and European Society

RICHES was a 2,5 year collaborative project drawing together 10 partners from 6 EU countries and Turkey, experts from cultural institutions, public and national administrations, SMEs, the humanities and social sciences.


The interdisciplinary RICHES team researched the context of change in which European cultural heritage is transmitted, its implications for future cultural heritage practices and the frameworks (cultural, legal, financial, educational, technical) to be put in place for the benefit of all audiences and communities in the digital age.

The RICHES project was an opportunity for us to critically rethink our relationship with the diverse and changing society, and thereby our changing stakeholders, around questions of citizenship and belonging. Through ongoing discussions with young people of diverse backgrounds about our practice, the museum opened itself for change to become a more relevant museum. The Tropenmuseum, Afrika Museum and Museum Volkenkunde are museums about people. But we realize that these museums are for only some people. This project offered tools to think with different stakeholders about our role and what we mean for them.

As regards questions of heritage in a digital age, museums like ours now need to think about what role will digital technologies play not only in our documentation practices, or as tools to address different audiences, but also the ways in which digitality is impacting core concepts with which we work. Are concepts such as identity, culture or subjectivity being refigured within the digital age? If so, how do museums like ours, that are ostensibly about questions of culture, respond to these changes. The project provided the critical space within which to ask these questions and to learn from our collections across Europe how cultural institutions should address these new challenges. RICHES, then, demanded that we recalibrate the museum to address the contemporary world we now live in, in an attempt to be a relevant space for a changing public.


  • Coventry University
  • Hansestadt Rostock
  • Stichting Waag Society
  • The University of Exeter
  • Promoter S.r.l.
  • Fundacio Privada I2CAT
  • Syddansk Universitet
  • Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz
  • Türkiye Cumhuriyeti Kültür ve Turizm Bakanlığı

European Research Council

More information

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