We dedicate this book to the many committed museum professionals that worked on the exhibitions and gladly accepted to participate in the research project as interviewees, facilitators and advisors. Also to all the visitors across all venues, especially those who collaborated by sharing their museum experiences: we are delighted and surprised by the power of museums and the chance to see them through your eyes.
We thank Mark Kent without whose vision and kindness this research and book would not have been possible, as he introduced the authors and encouraged us to include Mexico as part of the wider research project. And also to Priscilla Medina for being such a generous accomplice and facilitator during the process.
Thanks to our trusty master’s students, Alice Meads and Rosa Elba Camacho, who worked so diligently and cheerfully as research assistants and each wrote wonderful theses on the visitor research component of the project – one from a Mexican and the other from a New Zealand perspective.
We are grateful to Simon Mark and Patricia Goff for generously sharing their expertise on cultural diplomacy and strengthing this aspect of our work. To all the symposium participants who so gladly engaged with and discussed our early findings – your thoughts were invaluable for the development of the ideas contained in this book.
Thanks to Victoria University of Wellington – in particular the University Research Fund, Joint Research Committee, and the School of Art History, Classics and Religious Studies – for significant funding that made a long-term, multi-sited research project possible. Thanks also to Escuela Nacional de Conservación, Restauración y Museografía del Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (ENCRyM) who provided funding from the Mexican side. Our gratitude to the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO who made the symposium possible and, along with Córdova Plaza, allowed us to bring Leticia to New Zealand for her second visit.
Leticia Pérez Castellanos,
Special thanks to my colleagues from Dirección de Exposiciones, particularly my former boss Miriam Kaiser. To the New Zealand colleagues and friends I had the chance to meet through this project: Mark, Moana, Liz, Jeff, Robert. Also to Andres Triana, who welcomed this research project at ENCRyM. I dedicate this book to my parents for all their love and support, and, finally to my love, accomplice and listener Paul.
I wish to thank the staff and students at ENCRyM and others in Mexico City who hosted me during my visits. You made me so welcome it came to feel like my second home and you, my second family. I will be forever grateful for this experience. Thanks as always to my wonderful colleagues at Victoria University of Wellington, especially Conal, Annie and Pippa – for always being so supportive and willing to listen and provide advice. Finally to my family, for your love and craziness that kept me sane throughout this long process.