University Museum of Bergen

New Museum Director with Visions

- The Museum in Bergen has an exceptionally great potential, says Christoffer Schander, who right in the middle of the Museum Project 2014 will begin his tenure as the director of Bergen Museum.

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The new director at Bergen Museum will start the new job at a particularly important point of time for the Museum. To På Høyden, Christoffer Schander, professor at the Department of Biology at the University of Bergen says he particularly looks forward to the modernisation phase that they are now experiencing.
- It will be a very interesting challenge to take part in the development of the ”new” Bergen Museum in connection with the Museum Project 2014, Schander says.
The Museum Project has set extensive goals to be able to offer a modern museum with changing exhibitions, alternative ways to present the exhibitions in new floor space and to improve organisation for research. In the University of Bergen’s vision, the institution expresses a wish ”to make use of the museum collections in new ways and to offer research dissemination in new forms”.
- This entails a fantastic opportunity for Bergen Museum to once again resume the central role it once had, says Schander.

Museum Objects at the Centre of Attention

But Schander remarks that the modernisation will not take place at any price. It is important to preserve the core values that are specific to all museums, he argues.
- We need to have a firm foundation in history. I envisage a museum where the objects are at the centre of attention. We do not want to be too preoccupied with the technology, because there is a clear distinction between a museum and a computer game.
The new director is also concerned about communicating research in new ways. Research-based teaching should not be the only thing on the agenda; there should also be made room for research-based exhibitions, he believes. In this way, it will be possible to present the research activity that goes on at the Museum and the University.
- The Museum and the exhibitions there could provide a showcase to research.

Three Main Tasks

The Museum should not just be an attraction to tourists and curious bergenites. The other activities at the Museum must also be taken care of, and even if marketing is important, the exhibitions must not affect research work negatively.
- No museums function well without good research. The exhibitions must not come at the expense of the long-term value of the collections, Schander says.
The professor is currently abroad, on research leave in the USA. He cannot give an exact date as to when he will start his new job, but he hopes to be ready for it as soon as his sabbatical ends in August. When he takes over, Bergen Museum has, according to Schander, three main tasks – research, dissemination, and responsibility for the collections. The new director looks forward to the challenges the responsibility entails.
- I look forward to market a fantastic institution like Bergen Museum. To improve the financial situation and thus create further opportunities for good research and dissemination, will also be an important part of my future work.