The traditional role of museums is to collect objects and materials of cultural, religious and historical importance, preserve them, research into them and present them to the public for the purpose of education and enjoyment.
The early museums were elitist, uninspiring and aloof as they encouraged only the educated people to visit them. The general public were excluded. This focus has today become too narrow and unacceptable in a changing world where there is sustained clamour for more openness, pragmatism and collective involvement in dealing with issues that impact on people, communities and nations.
Emmanuel N. Arinze, The Role of the Museum in Society (1999)