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War museums are state repositories with the recognized function of collection, conservation, and interpretation of artifacts for the public benefit. Most war museums specialize in war histories; many of them are organized around one country’s involvement in military conflicts in which that country participated. Often, they include permanent and temporary exhibits, which are organized thematically and/or arranged chronologically. Today, many war museums provide multilingual guided tours and print catalogues, maintain gift or book shops, and organize international conferences.

Development

The earliest military collections were trophies (from Greek tropaion) captured in war; in Ancient Rome it was common to erect trophaeum, a tree-shaped monument decorated with the captured enemy’s arms and armor. During the Imperial period, trophies were amassed and paraded before spectators prior to being put in ...

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