What museums are for? Why do societies feel the need to create and establish museums? How much power and influence do they have over the way people understand the past, present and future and what responsibilities does their complex purpose entail? Since the early Seventies, the International Council of Museums (Icom) has drafted a definition of "museum" or what should be supposedly considered so. Thus, the role of museums to the service of society became dominant within the international framework. However, in European countries the definition has been transposed into the national legislation in different times and ways. A flair for preservation and for he 'monumentalization' of museums has hereto been the hallmarks of the Italian scenario. As a result of the last reforms, national museums have gained new characteristics and functionalities, which enable them to move towards European and globally agreed-upon standards.