Based on a study of the National museum of Denmark´s collection of objects from the climate summit COP15, this master thesis has examined the criteria for attributing value and meaning to contemporary objects as cultural heritage when incorporated into a museum collection.
The aim is to illustrate the challenges that new and expanded notions of cultural heritage is likely to have on the professional standards of conservators. The analysis of the valorization of the objects is seen in relation to the broader context of how a changed concept of culture has affected expectations of the role and functions of museums in society. The study is based partly on recent socio-cultural theory of heritage and museum ethics, partly on interviews with the anthropologist and curators who were involved in the musealization of the collected objects from COP15. The thesis considers different perspectives in the history of conservation from those of earlier theories to a contemporary approach.