Reda the following passage and answer questions:

Museums must make their collections accessible. In the past, this simply meant packing them into display cases, often with wordy labels that made little concession to the lay person. Now adays, accessibility should demand more than this. Displays can be lively and interesting, making the best use of theatrical or architectural techniques to capture the visitor’s attention and perhaps stimulate emotional response. But museums should be about more than their displays. They should make their collection accessible to the widest possible community. The provision of loan boxes of objects for class teachers is one known example of this, and recently this principle has been extended by some museums so that similar material is made available for use in treating elderly people whoare losing their memory.

Museums concern themselves with ‘artifacts and specimens’ — not replicas. They exist to facilitate an encounter with authenticity. They present items that actually existed were used — had meaning — at some historical time. This is a great strength and is what distinguishes them from heritage centres and theme parks, books and C.D. ROMs. Museumswhichrise to the challengé, which this distinctionimplies, and provide exciting and accessible displays, catalogues and outreach programmes, will find that their apparent competitors in‘virtual history’ are in fact their allies, stimulating an appetite for the ‘real thing’ that museumsare uniquely placed to satisfy.

Question 190

The “real thing” refers to

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