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Life & Arts

Kengo Kuma, Sebastiao Salgado say museums must change with society

Acclaimed architect, photographer and contemporary artist Cai Guo-Qiang explore significance of museums in their works

Architect Kengo Kuma, photographer Sebastiao Salgado and contemporary artist Cai Guo-Qiang will speak at the International Council of Museums conference in Kyoto on Sept. 1-7. (Photos by © J.C. Carbonne/ © Yann Arthus-Bertrand/ Yvonne Zhao, courtesy of Cai Studio)

TOKYO -- No longer seen simply as repositories for fossils and ancient objects, museums around the world have transformed over the past decades from merely collecting and sharing their works to helping shape historical and cultural legacies and bringing different communities together.

But the growing role of museums in bridging the past, present and even the future through the involvement of contemporary artists, scientists and designers has fueled debate about the mission of such institutions, public and private.

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