At a government sitting on 21 November 2013, fundamental principles of cultural policy were adopted, which outline the plan to promote Estonian culture in the years 2014 to 2020.
“The general principles of the cultural policy up to 2020” contains the principles of how the cultural policy is formed and carried out and what the priorities are by each field. When writing these fundamental principles, a couple of hundred propositions were considered, and professional associations and government institutions were involved.
The general principles of cultural policy were adopted by the parliament on 12 February 2014.
General principles for museums up to 2020
The objective of museums is to develop according to the contemporary expectations and needs of an institution of memory which, besides the accumulation, maintenance and researching of local cultural heritage would contribute to education, at the same time being an attraction to visitors from home and abroad, thereby increasing Estonia’s popularity as a destination for cultural tourism. In addition to historic heritage, the state considers it important that natural heritage is researched and presented to the public by appreciating the activities of natural museums, botanical gardens, and zoos.
Based on the principle of the integrity of cultural heritage, the state facilitates close cooperation between and co-ordinated action of museums, heritage conservation, and research institutions.
The state supports the interpretation of the knowledge that has been accumulated in a museum to bring it to public use, through, amongst other methods, contemporary e-solutions and by digitalising the collections. An analysis of museum collections will be carried out to make sure that the collections of different museums would make up a culturally significant whole with its parts complementing each other. Curation activities are intentional and continuous. Museum exhibits are stored in conditions which ensure their long-term preservation.
Educational programmes at museums are aligned with national curricula and contribute to reaching set study objectives. Particular attention is directed at using the heritage kept in museums in e-learning solutions. All school students are ensured the opportunity to visit Estonian museums. In each school year, at least one day is designated for museum visits. In order to develop the professional qualifications of museum pedagogues and other museum specialists, a co-ordinated in-service training programme is implemented in cooperation between the state and the field.
When designing the network of museums the state takes into account the sustainability and diversity of the institutions. At the same time, in order to realise activities and improve accessibility to the public, partners are involved both on the level of the local municipalities as well as from the private sector. The owner of a museum collection shall ensure basic financing to fulfil the main tasks of a museum.