The Author describes the current challenges museums have to cope with today, given the contemporary political, economic, technological and cultural developments. First and foremost the challenges arising from the media that influence people’s expectations, criteria of success, and involve all sectors of museal activities. The challenges engendered by the present-day relationship between economy and culture, now characterized by the expansion of cultural industries and the pressure on museums to become a business. The challenges of the speculative and unregulated global market, which raise the price of pieces of art and destroy the still active gift economy - specific to the cultural sector. Finally the challenges prompted by the restitution of works of art - carried away during colonisation and wars - that involve Western museums.
Keywords: Gift, cultural industries, market, media, museum, restitution.