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[An] interesting situation can occur, suggests cultural anthropologist James Clifford, when the issue is not who should have custody of the objects [in museums] but rather what they mean. As he explores the subject in the essays collected in Routes, he compels the reader to look at these matters in a totally new way...As Clifford puts it, the museum [has] had to become 'a contact zone,' in which the collection would 'become part of an ongoing historical, political, moral relationship' between the culture that produced the objects and the members of another culture who would come to view them. The idea of a 'contact zone' relationship becomes even more startling when the objects are not in a museum, but are located at a cultural site...[G]uided by Clifford's view of museums and cultural and historical sites, the observant tourist will never be able to see them in the same way again.
— Michael Kenney