Contemporary history of Luxembourg

Polishing the Image of a Nation-State: Luxembourg and the Uses of the Past since the 1990s

Since the 1990s the Luxembourg government has increasingly used the past to improve the country’s image. Though this use of history was not new, it has evolved significantly from the 1990s onward, both due to international influences and to specifically Luxembourgish developments. The transformation of the cultural landscape, the organisation of large events, and the European integration process are some examples. The contribution will analyse the uses of the past by public authorities in Luxembourg within this context. The paper will cover a series of key events and initiatives since the 1990s. It aims to understand how history has been used and shaped to promote a national identity and improve Luxembourg’s image, from the 150th anniversary of independence in 1989 to the more recent nation-branding initiatives. It investigates what kind of narratives were disseminated, who the involved stakeholders were, and whether tensions existed in this process.

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