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Museums 'need to offer participative experience'

6th May 2010

The argument for the continued transformation of Tate Modern has been outlined by its director.

Writing in the Art Newspaper, Nicholas Serota suggested that the traditional function of museums and galleries in determining how visitors can engage with art has evolved over recent years towards greater participation.

Mr Serota pointed out that the rise of social networking websites and blogs, coupled with increasing intervention in museums by artists, has changed the role of the institutions and now people want a greater sense of interaction when visiting.

'The challenge for museums in the 21st century is to find new ways of engaging with much more demanding, sophisticated and better-informed viewers,' he argued.

'Our museums have to respond to and become places where ideas, opinions and experiences are exchanged and not simply learned.'

Mr Serota explained that this is the reason why Tate Modern has taken steps to transform how it relates to its visitors, such as integrating exhibitions with space for contemplation, encouraging greater dialogue and creating a participative experience.

In April, Tate submitted a planning application for a GBP 45 million project to create new learning studios and public spaces at its original London gallery.

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