This ensures that the public continue to have access to public collections – and that they continue to trust museums as responsible long-term guardians.
Collections review, rationalisation and disposal are part of responsible collections management. Usually this is not controversial and items are offered freely to other relevant Accredited museums.
On occasion a museum may wish to sell an item for financial reasons. This is a high risk area. In these cases, they should be aware of our recent statement regarding the unethical sale of objects from collections.
If a museum believes they have a legitimate reason to sell an item, they should review the Disposal Toolkit and Appendix (available to download below) and contact both the Museums Association and their Accreditation Assessing Organisation for guidance before making any irreversible decisions.
Guidance for museums on when and how it is appropriate to dispose of an item.Download the toolkit