Museums as conflict zones: the Canadian War Museum and Bomber Command

David Dean

Abstract


This paper examines a recent controversy at the new Canadian War Museum over its exhibition on the Allied Bomber Offensive campaign in the Second World War. Although recent surveys of the public’s attitudes towards museums suggest that the public both trusts museums to get the story right and thinks museums are good places to deal with controversial topics, in this case the Museum found itself under attack. In the end, despite generally positive reviews from historians called in to review the display, the Museum was forced to make changes after a Parliamentary sub-committee demanded it do so. The paper argues that the Museum’s inability to withstand such intense pressure can be attributed to a number of factors, including its ambiguous nature as a war memorial museum.

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Copyright (c) 2015 David Dean

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Museum and Society

ISSN 1479-8360