and Publications Service
main task of the Communications Service is to promote ICOM
and to make its activities better known among the community
of museums and other partners. The Service develops and
handles communication tools, and organises the dissemination
of information inside and outside the Organisation. It is,
for example, responsible for ICOM News, as well as
the Internet site and other means of communication. These
last three years have been marked by a big change within
the Service, thanks to the recruitment of an additional
staff member to manage the Web site. During this three-year
period, the Service was actively involved in co-ordinating
and developing the ICOM campaign to stimulate awareness
of the fight against the illicit traffic of cultural property,
especially through the production of two new tools: the
List and the fourth volume of the series
"One Hundred Missing Objects", entitled Looting
of the Service
May 1999, significant changes have occurred within the Communication
Service as a result of its restructuring. It now incorporates
the former publications service, and is consequently responsible
for producing ICOM News and the Study Series. It also handles
the distribution of ICOM publications.
A new post was created within the Service to reinforce the
presence of ICOM on the Internet and develop its on-line
activities. The Service is now composed of three permanent
Valérie Jullien, Communications Officer
Saskia Brown, Editorial Assistant. She was recruited in
August 1999 and is responsible, in particular, for ICOM
News and the Study Series. She also organises
the distribution of the publications of ICOM and its Committees.
Carla Bonomi was recruited in November 2000 to be in charge
this three-year period, several people on fixed-term contracts,
as well as interns, assisted the communication team and
made it possible for the Service to carry out its heavy
and Public Relations
tools and information dissemination
The newsletter, ICOM News is the principal communication
medium between the Organisation and its members. This is
why special efforts were made to organise the contents of
ICOM News by giving greater priority to information
about the activities of the Organisation and its Committees.
Thanks to ICOM News, members are also informed regularly
of the discussions of the ICOM Reform Group (ICOM RTF) and
other working groups of the Executive Council. Reports on
the principal decisions made by the Advisory Committee and
the Executive Council are also published after every meeting.
Finally, ICOM News is now used to promote the International
Museums Day and circulate information on the annual themes.
This means that such information is now conveyed to all
members of ICOM and not just the Advisory Committee, as
in the past. It also ensures a wider distribution with no
general, the choice of articles and topics treated in ICOM
is based on the particular activities and concerns of the
ICOM has been on Internet since1995 through the intermediary
of its Web site and distribution lists. Thanks to Internet,
it is now easier for ICOM to communicate with its members
and the general public. The site has been improved considerably
during this three-year period, and it has now become a complementary
and vital communication vehicle to disseminate information
about ICOM. New pages have been added to the site throughout
this period. Publications printed on paper have been transformed
into electronic versions as that they can be consulted more
easily through Internet. The ICOM Internet site also provides
access to the sites of its Committees and affiliated organisations.
AdCom: An electronic distribution list for members
of the Advisory Committee was created to facilitate the
circulation of administrative documents. Members of AdCom
were automatically included in the ICOM-L list, which now
has over 800 members.
The Communication Service has endeavoured to use the ICOM-L
distribution as systematically as possible to communicate
with members. It also encouraged members to use this means
of communication as part of their daily routine.
distribution lists: In order to optimise communications,
information about ICOM is circulated through other distribution
lists, including, for example, the Museum Security Network,
Museum-L, MuseumWeb-L, etc.
brochures and information documents:
- The "Welcome Brochure" was re-published in French
and in English. The general information leaflet was also
re-published after its contents were slightly amended, in
accordance with the initial recommendations of the RTF Group.
- The brochure "For More Information", intended for
new committee chairmen, was updated and widely circulated.
- The catalogue of publications available for sale is regularly
updated and circulated through paper and electronic versions.
- A twelve-page booklet on the candidates for the new Executive
Council was published in January 2000 and circulated with
Number 1/2001 of ICOM News.
Service also took over the task of designing information
documents for conferences organised by the Programme Activities
Service, in keeping with the graphic image of ICOM.
with the press and other ICOM partners
The Communication Service uses the press to convey information
about the various activities of the Organisation to professionals
and the general public. A list of international journalists
has been established for this purpose, and it is regularly
updated or completed, according to the topic in question.
activities are accompanied by a press campaign whenever
required. Press kits and press releases are produced in
French and English, and sometimes in another language, and
widely circulated. Each mailing is followed up by telephone
calls. Target journalists are contacted personally by telephone
to optimise the impact of the campaign and request interviews.
Campaigns can also be carried out in the field, depending
on the event to be publicised and the importance of the
The results are put on file and circulated, especially to
funding organisations, as they are very sensitive to "publicity"
that places the projects they support in the spotlight.
This press review is essential because it reflects the importance
and impact of the activities of ICOM.
releases (and in some cases press kits) on the
following topics were circulated during the period 1998-2001:
Looting in Europe: The Illicit Traffic of Cultural Property
- 30 March 2001.
Saving Cultural Heritage in Afghanistan - An appeal launched
by ICOMOS and ICOM - 1st March 2001.
<.museum> has been selected among the seven new domain
names - 20 November 2000.
ICOM proposes a new Internet domain name for museums -
4 October 2000.
Museums, Heritage and Cultural Tourism - 21 May 2000.
Stop the looting of African archaeological objects: the
Red List of ICOM - April 2000.
Museums for a Life of Peace and Harmony in Society: International
Museums Day 2000.
A new International Council for African Museums, AFRICOM
- 9 October 1999 (in English only).
A new Pan-African Organisation of Museums, AFRICOM - September
The Pleasures of Discovery, International Museums Day
Appeal of the ICBS for the protection of cultural heritage
in Yugoslavia - 19 April 1999 (in English only).
Recommendations on the return of artworks belonging to
Jews - 14 January 1999.
Jacques Perot, President of ICOM - October 1998.
and more journalists from all over the world are showing
interest in ICOM, and many articles have appeared in the
international press. The Service also replies to questions
from journalists about different subjects concerning museums
and/or ICOM. The required information is retrieved and journalists
are referred to members of ICOM and its Committees, who
are in a position to give interviews.
Press releases and other official documents from the Secretariat
are also circulated to many partners and institutions that
can serve the cause of ICOM. To carry out this task, address
lists are drawn up to meet the requirements of ICOM's information
activities. Particular attention is paid to updating the
list of museum associations and international organisations
working closely with museums or ICOM.
Communication Service participates in meetings held in France
and other countries, to represent ICOM and establish future
partnerships. This was the case, for example, in Stockholm
in December 1998, when Valérie Jullien took part in the
annual meeting of NEMO (Network of European Museums Organisations)
in order promote the activities of ICOM and forge links
with national museum associations in Europe.
September 2000, Valérie Jullien also participated in the
annual meeting of the Marketing and Public Relations Committee
held in Tokyo. On this occasion, contacts were made with
the Japanese Committee and the Director of the Association
of Japanese Museums. An appointment was also set up with
the Nippon Foundation. This mission made it possible to
learn how the Japanese Committee and its relationship with
the National Association functions, and to understand the
reasons for the weak representation of Japanese professionals
at ICOM (reports were written on these two missions).
Communication Campaigns and Activities during the Period
General Conference in Melbourne 1998
Exhibition Stand. The General Conference is a major
event in the life of ICOM. It is an opportunity for the
Secretariat to make itself known among individual members.
In addition to writing the Report on the three-year period,
as well as the regular activities of the Conference, the
Secretariat decided to heighten its visibility during the
General Conference through an exhibition stand at the trade
fair. The "ICOM" stand served as place to exhibit the various
publications of ICOM and as a focal point where members
could meet each other, obtain information and contact the
staff of the Secretariat. A number of ICOM audio-visual
programmes were distributed at this stand. It was also used
as the launching pad for the publication History of ICOM.
This first experience of having an ICOM stand at a General
Conference turned out to be very positive for the image
of the Secretariat. It was particularly useful for members
who had a place where they could obtain more information
and meet the staff of ICOM. It is hoped that this experience
will be renewed during the General Conference to be held
events. During the Conference, side events (meetings,
receptions, etc) were organised to facilitate meetings between
members of ICOM. The "AFRICOM" and "50th Anniversary" audio-visual
programmes were circulated, as well as an information sheet
on the publication History of ICOM. Finally, the
manual "For More Information", specially designed
for the Conference, was also distributed.
for the press. In order to help the Organising Committee
of ICOM 1998, the Communication Service issued several press
releases about the General Conference, in collaboration
with the person in charge of promoting the General Conference
in Australia. On-the-spot interviews and meetings with journalists
were organised. Following the appointment of the new Executive
Council, a press release was sent not only to the international
press but also to ICOM partners (national museum associations,
international organisations, etc).
- meeting in Cleveland, April 1999
With a view to reinforcing the presence and visibility of
ICOM in the United States and within the American Association
of Museums, the Communication Service organised a panel
discussion, in collaboration with the AAM/ICOM. The panel
discussion was held during the annual meeting of the AAM
in Cleveland from 25 to 29 April 1999. The discussions centred
on the topic "Rethinking our cultural roots: a cultural
dialogue between Africa and America". This theme was in
follow-up to the first Africa/Latin America meeting organised
in Buenos Aires in July 1998. Peggy Loar, President of AAM/ICOM,
chaired the session. The contributors were George Abungu
(Kenya), Monica Garrido (Argentina) and Deborah Mack (USA).
As Monica Garrido was obliged to cancel her trip at the
last moment, Manus Brinkman read her contribution in her
absence. The Communication Service was responsible for seeking
funds and for the practical logistics of the panel. The
Ford Foundation, with the backing of the AAM, financed travel
and accommodation for the participants. Advantage was taken
of this occasion to officially introduce the Secretary General
of ICOM to all participants in the AMM annual meeting (about
Support and promotion of the programme
The Communication Service is involved in the co-ordination
and promotion of certain activities carried out by the Programme
Activities Service of the ICOM Secretariat.
Constituent Assembly, Zambia, October 1999.
A large-scale public relations campaign was carried out,
in collaboration with the Programme Activities Service,
in preparation for the Constituent Assembly of AFRICOM in
Creation of a visual identity.
Design and preparation of information documents (programme,
working documents, press kit and press release).
Preparation of information material for the African, European
and North American press.
Travel arrangements for journalists.
Information material for ICOM partners, including international
organisations, funding organisations, NGOs, regional organisations,
embassies of foreign countries in Zambia and museum associations
from all over the world. Finally, a special message was
sent to the World Bank, which was organising a meeting
on the financing of culture in Italy during the same period.
detailed report on this campaign was written and sent to
the Executive Board of AFRICOM. A press review was prepared
and circulated to all members of the Executive Board as
well as to funding organisations.
Heritage and Cultural Tourism, Peru/Bolivia, May 2000.
The Communication Service helped to promote the Conference
on Cultural Tourism, which took place in Peru and Bolivia
in May 2000. The Service was responsible for establishing
the programme and creating the visual identity of the meeting,
as well as writing the relevant press releases.
International Museum Day
year since 1977, an International
Museum Day is celebrated around a theme set by
the Advisory Committee. This special day is an occasion
for museum professionals to meet the public and alert them
to the challenges faced by every museum to be - according
to the definition of a museum laid down by ICOM - an "institution
at the service of society and its development". The Secretariat
sends information kits and press releases on the selected
theme to members. This theme is also discussed in ICOM News.
A file with a review of the activities organised for the
occasion is placed at the disposal of members of ICOM and
a report published in ICOM News.
themes of the International Museum Days from 1999 to 2001
were the following:
1999: The Pleasures of Discovery
2000: Museums for Peace and Harmony in Society
2001: Museums: Building Community
the 1999 Day, an information kit containing a
bibliography, a press release and four articles on the experience
of museums in this area was sent to members of the Advisory
Committee. Some of the information was also made available
on the Web site and in ICOM News. A specially designed
sticker was sent to all the institutional members of ICOM
to celebrate the International Museum Day.
the 2000 Day, it was decided to extend the dissemination
of information to all members of ICOM and not only to members
of the Advisory Committee. A large part of No. 1/2000 of
ICOM News was therefore devoted to the International
Museum Day and its theme. Thanks to the newsletter, there
was a wider circulation without the additional costs of
a separate mailing, and it was also possible to produce
more articles on the subject.
the year 2001, the same approach has been adopted
as in the year 2000, by devoting No. 1/2001 of ICOM News
to the theme of the International Museum Day. The report
of the previous year was also published in No. 4/1999.
campaign for the fight against the illicit traffic of cultural
fight against the illicit traffic of cultural property has
become one of the priorities of the Organisation in the
last few years. ICOM has reinforced its action in this field
and introduced a new instrument to improve public awareness
and information. Furthermore, ICOM has taken steps to form
partnerships with other organisations involved in this traffic,
such as INTERPOL and the World Customs Organisation (WCO).
ICOM has also extended its activities to cover the entire
world, especially in Europe and Asia. It should be noted
that the National Committees, which have also developed
public awareness and information tools at national or regional
level, are backing up the measures taken by ICOM. A good
example is ICOM-Sweden, which is at the origin of an audio-visual
documentary on the subject. The ICOM-UK Committee has published,
in collaboration with the Museum Association, a book entitled
"Stealing History: the illicit trade in cultural materials",
edited by the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research.
Partnership development - Customs
services and police forces: partners of museums in the fight
against the illicit traffic of cultural property
Museums cannot act alone in the fight against the illicit
traffic of cultural property. The action taken by ICOM needs
to be backed by close co-operation with police forces and
customs services. On Tuesday, 25 January 2000, the Secretary
General of ICOM signed in Brussels a co-operative agreement
with the World Customs Organisation relating to the fight
against the illicit traffic of cultural property. On 11
April 2000, an official co-operation agreement was also
signed with INTERPOL.
agreements with the WCO and INTERPOL are a big step forwards
in the fight against the illicit traffic of cultural property
as this problem transcends borders. Customs officials can
make a valuable contribution, within the field of competence
of their national service. At the same time, closer co-operation
with both heritage and the police authorities, at national
and international levels, would increase the efficiency
of the police. The signing of these official agreements
reinforces effectively the co-operation existing between
the three organisations and confirms that international
customs and police authorities have become sensitive to
the problem of the illicit traffic of cultural property.
Joint projects are expected to be launched shortly to deal
with matters such as the organisation of public awareness
campaigns, training programmes for customs officials, circulation
among customs and police officials all over the world of
information published by ICOM on illicit traffic (for instance,
the collection "One Hundred Missing Objects" or the
Object ID and COPAT: In June 1999, Valérie Jullien
and Andrew Roberts (CIDOC/UK) attended a meeting in London
on the development of Object ID, on the invitation of the
Getty Information Institute. The purpose of this meeting
was for the Getty Information Institute to inform the various
Object ID partners of the change in status of this project.
Created and developed by the Getty Information Institute
since 1993, Object ID has now been transferred to London
and is housed by COPAT (Council for the Preservation of