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ICOM Advisory Committee

61st Session - 29 June 2001 - Barcelona, Spain


- Appendix 1: List of participants
- Appendix 2: Proposed amendments to the ICOM Statutes (June 2001)
- Appendix 3: Proposal submitted by ICOFOM on amendments to the ICOM Statutes
- Appendix 4: Guidelines concerning the Unlawful Appropriation of Objects During the Nazi Era (available in english only)


Alissandra Cummins, Chairperson of the Advisory Committee, welcomed the participants, as well as the President of ICOM and members of the Executive Council. She expressed her pleasure to be in Barcelona on the occasion of the General Conference and thanked the Organising Committee for the welcome extended to all members.

A minute of silence was observed in memory of the members of ICOM who had passed away recently:

  • Adriaan Claerhout (Belgium), member of ICOM since 1953, former Secretary General of the Association of Museums of Belgium and Secretary of the Belgian National Committee;
  • Byong-Sam Han (Republic of Korea), Director of the National Museum of Korea and former Chairperson of the National Committee of the Republic of Korea;
  • Christopher Zeuner (United Kingdom), Director of the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum and former Chairperson of the Association of European Open Air Museums;
  • Ágnes Tímár Balázsy (Hungary), Head of the Faculty of Object Conservation, former Vice-Chairperson of the Conservation Committee and Council Member of ICCROM;
  • Patrick Wamlungwe (Zambia), Head of the Curatorial Services Division, National Heritage Conservation Commission and former Secretary of the National Committee of Zambia;
  • John Aage Gjestrum (Norway), Editor of Toten Museum in Boverbru and Board Member of ICOFOM;
  • Sir Richard Anthony Foster (United Kingdom), Director of the National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside, and former Chairperson of ICMM;
  • Marie-Odile de Bary (France), Board Member of MINOM;
  • Raymond Singleton (United Kingdom), member of ICOM since 1958 and former Chairperson of ICTOP;
  • Rikhard Hordal (Finland), Officer of the Department of Conservation Studies, Espoo-Vantaa Polytechnical University.

Alissandra Cummins presented members with a report on the work of the Advisory Committee during the past triennial period.

She noted that the period under study had been characterised by the two main aspects of planning and partnership, both within ICOM and the heritage community in general. The work of the Advisory Committee reflected the progress and achievements of the organisation in every respect.

The Chairperson reported that, in the last three years, ICOM had actively implemented an initiative aimed at evaluating its own performance, planning for change, and assessing its organisational future as well as prospects for the museum community all over the world. The Advisory Committee had played a crucial role in this process, first of all, through its competence in selecting candidates for the Executive Council, the Ethics Committee and the Reform Task Force. It had also confirmed the choice of Barcelona and Seoul to host the General Conferences in 2001 and in 2004 respectively, while members actively took part in five sessions (four ordinary sessions and one extraordinary session). Secondly, members had made a decisive contribution through their active participation in various committees and working groups set up during the triennial period to explore various issues and stimulate a dialogue.

In her view, this dynamic approach had made it possible to define the questions and preoccupations of interest to the museum community as a whole. She expressed the fact that she was very impressed by the obvious devotion of all the participants involved in this fundamental task. Thanks to a continuous dialogue and flow of communications, it had been possible to synthesise a new framework for action that, after an open and rigorous examination, had finally received the backing of the Advisory Committee in December. Once again, the participation of members, both new and old, had largely contributed to ensuring the success of an extensive consultative process.

Alissandra Cummins reported that the number of members had risen significantly in the course of the last three years. Several new National Committees had been set up and eleven others re-organised. Two new International Committees had also been created: DEMHIST (Historic House Museums) and UMAC (University Museums and Collections). In addition, new links were forged with two Affiliated Organisations: International Association of Customs Museums (IACM) and Pacific Islands Museums Association (PIMA).

Furthermore, she noted that the Advisory Committee had brought itself up-to-date through a critical examination of the mission and attributes of two other International Committees that were given a new name reflecting change in these areas. In addition to this activity, the International Committees had also proceeded with a meticulous examination of their functions within ICOM, as the principal instrument of action for the implementation of policies and programmes. This evaluation had led to a certain number of proposals within the context of the work undertaken by the Reform Task Force. These recommendations promised to bring about profound change in the future. The Chairperson was of the view that all this progress was encouraging as it revealed a constant desire on the part of museum professionals to co-operate with their colleagues in the international museum community.

The situation was nevertheless, a cause for concern as it appeared that these increases in membership had occured mainly in developed countries and was accompanied by an alarming decline in developing countries. Alissandra Cummins noted that the Advisory Committee was fully aware of these trends and had advocated a highly proactive approach towards the broadening of participation in ICOM, with the continuous support of members. It had been stressed clearly that ICOM must place membership of developing countries at the top of its priorities, and at all levels of the organisation.

As for the function of the Advisory Committee, either as an advisory organ - in which flexibility and innovation had played a vital role in the re-organisation process - or as a means of expression for members examining projects and the implementation of programmes, the Chairperson was of the view that it had brought to the forefront the need for a strategic balance between support and action in order to channel the work of the Organisation. By reconciling regional imperatives within the global context, ICOM had once again confirmed the importance of its activities in the areas of museum training and the creation of instruments for taking action. ICOM members had focused their activities along a number of main lines, especially the fight against the illicit traffic of cultural property, the exchange of information, the use of new technologies and infrastructures (the domain name <.museum> is an example) as well as the sustainable development of museums in the context of globalisation.

Alissandra Cummins noted that other matters of importance would require further attention if ICOM wished to grow in a constructive way as an international organisation. The International Committees continue to search for appropriate means to rationalise and regionalise their public and functions. National Committees should continue their expansion and extend their sphere of action, especially in areas still under the shock of ravages caused by conflicts or natural disasters, and where the cost of membership entails a sacrifice that is difficult to imagine.

Given this background, the Advisory Committee had proven its willingness to envisage a total restructuring of ICOM's policies by recommending amendments to the Code of Ethics, as well as to the mission and values of the organisation, by broadening the definition of museums through a new philosophy and rejuvenated practices, and finally by reaffirming the commitment of the profession to share knowledge, resources and experience. These points would be at the heart of the debates at the General Conference in Barcelona in July 2001.

Finally, she stressed that ICOM should continue to search for innovative means to increase the geographic representation of its membership in all regions and in all disciplines, while preserving the integrity of the profession. This was the challenge to be faced during the next three years, and beyond.

Alissandra Cummins invited Rafael Feria y Perez, Chairperson Designate of the Conference, to address the members of the Advisory Committee. The latter welcomed all the members present and said he was pleased to host the 19th ICOM General Conference in Barcelona (Spain). In the name of the Spanish Committee, he expressed the hope that the proceedings of the General Conference would take place as smoothly as possible. He apologised to members for certain problems encountered in the organisation of the meetings of the International Committees. He explained that the Organising Committee was currently preparing for the opening day scheduled for Sunday, 1st July 2001. This Conference, according to Rafael Feria y Perez, should be an unforgettable event. He asked members to be patient in the face of various problems. Rafael Feria y Perez said he was determined to see that the 2001 General Conference turned out to be a propitious occasion to strengthen ties between ICOM members and the museum community.


Alissandra Cummins informed members that a revised draft agenda was at their disposal. This new draft included a few modifications. She conveyed the apologies of UNESCO for being unable to attend the 61st session of the Advisory Committee.

A report would be presented by Cary Karp on the ".museum" project. Alissandra Cummins, as the Elections Officer of the Advisory Committee for the period 2001-2004, will convey the results of the elections to members during the General Assembly on Friday, 6 July 2001.

The draft agenda was adopted with the proposed amendments.


2.a. 60th Session, June 2000, Paris (France)

The minutes of the 60th session were adopted without any amendments.

2.b. Extraordinary Session, December 2000, Paris (France)

The minutes of the Extraordinary Session were adopted with the following amendment requested by Peggy Loar (AAM-ICOM).

English version (page 2, paragraph 2, 3rd paragraph): Peggy Loar (AAM-ICOM) thanked the Chairperson Geoffrey Lewis and his Committee and asked that a new presentation of the Code be considered, which would separate the ethical principles from the guiding principles and procedures.

2.c. Review of the Minutes of the Executive Council

Members of the Council took due note of the minutes of the 96th session of the Executive Council held in June 2000 in Paris (France).

The draft minutes of the 97th Session of the Executive Council held in December 2000 in Paris (France), which had not yet been adopted by the Executive Council, were the subject of a specific request from Michel Van-Praët, Chairperson of ICOM-France, who asked for the list of members of the ICOM Foundation. This request would be submitted to the Executive Council as well as the ICOM Foundation.

The members of the Advisory Committee took due note of the draft minutes of the 97th session of the Executive Council.

Nancy Hushion (INTERCOM) pointed out that as the working documents reached her too late, she and several others had had no time to study them properly before the meeting.

Patrick Boylan (ICTOP) asked for tables to be placed in the room set aside for members of the Advisory Committee in order to facilitate their work.

Jacques Perot pointed out that it was the task of the Advisory Committee to submit to the General Assembly names of members of the Board of the General Conference, the Resolutions Committee and the Programme Committee. He said that members of the Board of the General Conference were proposed in agreement with the Organising Committee.

Alissandra Cummins indicated that considerable work had been accomplished in order to submit a Strategic Plan for 2001-2007 to members of the General Assembly. As a result, the work of the Programme Committee would be different from previous years as it will have to review the Strategic Plan and submit comments to the General Assembly. The Programme Committee would be composed of three members from the Advisory Committee in addition to the two members of the Reform Task Force Group. Members approved the following appointments by acclamation:

Board of the General Conference:


Rafael Feria y Perez, Chairperson, ICOM-Spain
Eduardo Carbonell, Curator of the Museo Nacional de Arte de Cataluña (Barcelona)
Juan José Bacallado, Curator of the Museo de Naturaleza y del Hombre (Sta Cruz de Tenerife)
Amparo Sebastián, Curator of the Museo Nacional de Cienca y Tecnología
Dolores Higueras, Technical Director of the Museo Naval (Madrid)
Programme Committee: Nancy Hushion (INTERCOM - ICOM-RTF), Rapporteur
Aidan Walsh (United Kingdom, ICOM-RTF)
Lorenz Homberger (Switzerland)
Jay Haviser (MAC)
Shaje'a Tshiluila (Democratic Republic of Congo)
Resolutions Committee: Sid Ahmed Baghli (Algeria), Rapporteur
Peggy Loar (AAM-ICOM)
Ganga Rautela (CECA)
Ben Koevoets (The Netherlands)

Jacques Perot briefly outlined the activities undertaken by the Organisation. He said he was delighted to be present at this session of the Advisory Committee. He wished to include the members present in expressing his thanks to the Organising Committee of the General Conference. Despite a number of difficulties encountered, this Conference would mark the entry of ICOM into the third millennium.

The President also noted the key issues that will be discussed by the members of the Advisory Committee. He reminded them of the reform process, which had started two years earlier, and the intensive work undertaken by the group that has been led so efficiently by Bernice Murphy, Chairperson of the Reform Task Force, and its members. As he himself was a member of this group, he was in a position to assess the deep reflection undertaken by the members. The Group had made concrete proposals and the next phase would be for the next Advisory Committee to implement them.

Jacques Perot also referred to the work carried out on the ICOM Code of Ethics. The Advisory Committee had approved major amendments and these would be submitted to the members of the General Assembly on Friday 6 July 2001. The President paid tribute to Geoffrey Lewis, Chairperson of the Committee, and announced that a second stage would start during the forthcoming triennial period, focussing on a total revision of the Code of Ethics.

Jacques Perot also raised the matter of the ".museum" initiative and said he was pleased that the Advisory Board had approved this project, thanks to the assistance of the J. Paul Getty Trust. He hoped that this new initiative will enable the museum community as well as ICOM to acquire greater visibility on the Internet and thus strengthen its impact.

As for the fight against illicit traffic, the President mentioned the recent publication of the fourth volume in the series "One Hundred Missing Objects", devoted to stolen religious objects in four European countries: the Czech Republic, France, Hungary and Italy. This instrument for raising awareness will be sent to everyone involved in the art market, including art dealers, collectors, auction houses, antiquarians, etc., who should know that cultural heritage is subject to regulations governing its protection and acquisition.

Jacques Perot evoked the partnership of ICOM with other institutions such as UNESCO, the International Blue Shield Committee, and ICOMOS with which ICOM published a common press release on saving the cultural heritage of Afghanistan.

Jacques Perot wished to convey, in the presence of all the members of the Advisory Committee, his formal thanks to Piet Pouw, the outgoing Treasurer of ICOM, for his competence during two terms of office. He said he was joined by the Secretary General and the Secretariat in expressing his gratitude.

He also congratulated the Advisory Committee, under the excellent guidance of Alissandra Cummins, for fully playing its role as an adviser and instigator.

Alissandra Cummins thanked the President of ICOM for his address and general view on the future of the Organisation.

5. ".museum" REPORT

Cary Karp presented members of the Advisory Committee with a report on the introduction of the new domain name ".museum". He reminded members that ICOM and the J. Paul Getty Trust had jointly set up MuseDoma, a new non-profit professional organisation, with the aim of instituting, maintaining and managing an Internet domain that will be at the service of the international museum community.

The directors of MuseDoma are:

  • Jacques Perot, President of ICOM
  • Bernice Murphy, Vice-President of ICOM
  • Deborah Gribbon, Director of the J. Paul Getty Museum
  • Kenneth Hamma, Deputy Director of the J. Paul Getty Museum

The officers are:

  • Cary Karp, President, Director of Internet Strategy and Technology for ICOM
  • Manus Brinkman, Secretary General
  • Steven Juarez, Treasurer, Director of Financial Management, J. Paul Getty Trust

He indicated that during the General Conference a MuseDoma stand would be set up where interested members can obtain an information file for pre-registration. He reminded the Committee that a meeting would be held during the week on the introduction of the new domain name and invited members to attend. A demonstration showing the features of this new domain name will be given to members.

As for the selection of museums authorised to use this new domain name, Cary Karp said that the ICOM Secretariat could assist in deciding which requests to accept. If there were any doubts about the standard of museums that apply, the National Committee of the country concerned could play an important role on whether the museum should be accepted or not. Likewise, if an institution no longer fulfils the designation of "museum", it would be struck off automatically.

Alissandra Cummins thanked Cary Karp for his presentation and congratulated him on the work he had carried out in order to implement the ".museum" project.


6.a. Report of the Treasurer

Piet Pouw, Treasurer of ICOM, submitted various financial documents to members.

6.a.1. Balance Sheet for 2000 [2001/SEC.01]

The Treasurer informed the Committee that the Auditor's report, certifying that the annual accounts are in due form, was attached to the Balance Sheet. These accounts reflect accurately the results of operations during the past financial period, as well as the financial status and assets of the Organisation at the end of the financial year.

The presentation of the balance sheet was based on the budget approved for the year 2000. The balance sheet for 2000 showed a positive result of 281,767 French francs. This surplus included extra-budgetary expenditures amounting to 459,459 French francs, approved by the Executive Council.

The total net result showed a sum of about 5 million French francs. The accumulated profits from investments amounted to nearly 4 million French francs. In conformity with the principle of prudence adopted at international level, the possible revenue from these investments is not taken into account in the balance sheet.

In the case of revenue from membership fees, the Treasurer explained that a higher amount, covering membership fees for the years 1998 and 1999, had been received. The amount received under "contracts" (UNESCO subvention, Réunion des musées nationaux, Direction des musées de France, AAM/ICOM and ICOM' 98) was however lower than expected. The American National Committee (AAM/ICOM) had granted additional funds. The Organising Committee for ICOM' 98 had paid to ICOM part of the earnings from the General Conference, in compliance with the contract signed with ICOM. The expenditure and revenue of programme activities had been balanced with the exception of the International Blue Shield Committee. The second part of the subsidy granted by the Gould Foundation would be paid in 2001. The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs had generously funded the Workshop on Cultural Tourism held in Latin America.

In the case of expenditure relating to general administrative overheads, the costs had been higher due to administrative meetings and staff missions. In addition, the rental of the Web server had been more expensive than anticipated. The communication costs of the Membership Service had been lower and the services of external consultants had been solicited. The real costs of programme activities are indicated for each programme in the balance sheet.

The meetings of the Reform Task Force had generated extra-budgetary expenses. Furthermore, new office equipment for the ICOM offices had been purchased. An additional staff member had been recruited in 2001, under short-term contract, to assist in the work of the Documentation Centre. The salary of the Internet Content Editor had been incorporated in the salaries of the Communication Service in 2001. An extraordinary meeting of the Advisory Committee had been convened in December 2000.

Piet Pouw thanked Manus Brinkman, the Secretary General, for his wise management, and Sylvie Délice, the Accountant, and Jack Dhennequin, Chartered Accountant, for their good advice.

Nancy Hushion, INTERCOM, congratulated the Treasurer on his report and on the responsible management of ICOM's finances during the period. As before, INTERCOM had had questions about the cash reserves totalling, on the Balance Sheet, some 4 million French Francs. She therefore asked that this matter be examined by the proposed Standing Committee on Finance and Resources.

Alissandra Cummins, Chairperson of the Advisory Committee, confirmed that this matter would be submitted to the designated Committee once established.

The members of the Advisory Committee took due note of the balance sheet for the year 2000.

6.a.2. Budget for 2001 [2000/SEC.06rev]

Piet Pouw informed the members present that this budget had been revised by the Executive Council in May 2001.

During the meeting held on 7 December 2000, the Executive Council approved the budget for 2001. However, during a special session held with the President, Treasurer, Secretary General, Accountant and External Consultant, a final budget had been drawn up for the year 2001 and sent to the Executive Council. In compliance with the triennial 1999-2001 budget, the exchange rate was 1 US dollar for 5.70 French francs. The budget for 2001 was drawn up in Euros. The budget for 2000 and the balance sheet for 2000 served as references for the 2001 budget.

Piet Pouw stated the surplus of 281,767 French francs indicated in the balance sheet for 2000 would be allocated to the budget for 2001, which will therefore be presented with a negative result equal to the surplus of the previous year.

Furthermore, it should be noted that a subsidy from UNESCO, lower than expected, would be allocated to the Administrative Services and the Documentation Centre. Hopefully, there would be a higher income from investments. The revenue from programme activities can be estimated at 4,3 million French francs. The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs had been one of the biggest financial sponsors for the Workshop on the Protection of Cultural Heritage in South East Asian Countries, which had been held in Hanoi (Vietnam) from 9 to 13 April 2001. UNESCO had continued its collaboration with ICOM on contracts for training the staff of the Museum of Nubia in Aswan and for the use of Internet in museums. The sum of 300,000 French francs might perhaps be expected to finance contracts.

On the whole, a slight increase in salaries and social contributions was to be expected. In 2001, since the meeting of the Advisory Committee was being held in Barcelona (Spain), no budget was drawn up for the purpose. However, the Treasurer explained that travel and accommodation expenses for the ICOM staff attending the General Conference and extra costs for the translation of documents had to be taken into consideration. In the case of the Communication Service, he said that the salary and benefits for Carla Bonomi, the Internet Content Editor, had been included. In the case of MUSEDOMA, the budget was estimated at 237,267 French francs, but a surplus of a maximum amount of 262,733 French francs might be used to cover extra budgetary expenses. The real rental cost of the Web server had been included. The total expenses of the Membership Service had increased slightly and included a small budget for maintaining the database.

The expenditure and revenue of programme activities were more or less balanced. The salaries and benefits, as well as organisational expenses, were indicated, the other costs being an estimate since each programme had its own specific expenditure.

Piet Pouw indicated that there remained the sum of 262,733 French francs for extra budgetary expenditures for MUSEDOMA, as well as the amount of 45,000 French francs for an extra staff member to help the Documentation Centre for three months.

Nancy Hushion, INTERCOM, thanked the Treasurer and reiterated her request that the budget presentations included comparative figures for the previous years. The Chairperson indicated that she would bring this to the attention of the Treasurer.

The members of the Advisory Committee took due note of the budget for 2001.

6.a.3. Triennial Budget 2001-2004 [[2001/SEC.03rev]

Piet Pouw said he was pleased to present the triennial budget for the period 2001-2004 (which now only concerns the years 2002-2004). The Treasurer said that the draft had been approved by the Executive Council in May 2001. It had been drawn up in Euros since this currency will be the legal tender in many countries of the European Union as of 1st January 2002. Nevertheless, the French franc continued to be used so that members could compare the figures with the triennial budget for 1999-2001. Piet Pouw pointed out that the rate of exchange was I Euro for 0.979 US$, which seemed to be reasonable.

Some of the advice given by Mr. Jack Dhennequin, Chartered Accountant, had been incorporated in the triennial budget. However, Piet Pouw advised of the need to set up a good working relationship between the new committee for finances and resources (to be established) and the treasurer in order to discuss more thoroughly the suggestions put forward by the Reform Task Force and their application in the budgets for every year in the future. He noted that the Executive Council had decided to keep a reserve of about 40% of the total budget.

As for membership fees, provisions have been made for a total increase of 12% in the fees spread over three years since more members were expected and the fee would only increase by 4% a year.

Piet Pouw reported that unfortunately UNESCO has announced that MUSEUM International will cease to be published in 2001. The budget for the income from contracts, as well from programme activities, would remain at the same level.

A slight increase in salaries and benefits is expected. On the whole, the Treasurer said there would probably be a slight increase in all expenditure in proportion to the increase in the cost of services. A sum of nearly 700,000 French francs had been set aside each year to finance regular subsidies and the special projects of the International Committees and Regional Organisations, including the financing of the publication of an issue of the Study Series. The expenditure for programme activities is calculated at approximately 3.7 million French francs per year.

Piet Pouw reminded members that this was his last report as Treasurer of ICOM. He wished to thank warmly all the people with whom he worked closely in the last six years: the two Presidents, Saroj Ghose and Jacques Perot; the two Secretaries General, Elisabeth des Portes and Manus Brinkman; Sylvie Délice; Jack Dhennequin; and all his friends in the Secretariat. He sincerely hoped that ICOM would continue to benefit from efficient and well-balanced management, and that it would remain a financially stable and active Organisation, representing the world community of museums at the service of society.

Alissandra Cummins warmly thanked Piet Pouw and congratulated him on his report, as well as on his contribution to the sound and prudent management of ICOM's finances during the last two trienna.

While thanking the Treasurer, Cary Karp insisted that there should be a budget for MuseDoma, to be spread over the period 2002-2004. It was agreed to hold an extraordinary meeting to discuss this matter with the Executive Council, Cary Karp and the Chairperson of the Advisory Committee.

Michel Van-Praët asked for a clearer explanation on the expected decrease in income in the years to come and the reduced number of members for the year 2002. Piet Pouw explained that quite often during a General Conference year, a massive number of professionals joined in order to participate in the Conference. This increase rarely continued in the year following the General Conference. The triennial budget took this particular factor into account.

Manus Brinkman reminded the Committee that proposals relating to the Strategic Plan had been incorporated in the triennial budget.

Patrick Boylan stressed the interest of having a separate and detailed budget for each programme. He also added that the accounts of AFRICOM have never been published.

In replying to the suggestion to publish the accounts in ICOM News, Manus Brinkman said that it would be discussed. He doubted if all members would appreciate that budgets be published in ICOM News. However, detailed budgets are always available upon request for those interested.

Bernice Murphy reminded the Committee of the forthcoming creation of a Standing Committee of Finance and Resources and suggested that this Committee should examine recurring problems relating to finances.

Nancy Hushion also mentioned the note from the Editor-in-Chief of MUSEUM International informing members of the continuation of this publication with a different format, in English and French, in the years to come. This note had been circulated to the Advisory Committee in the morning.

Alissandra Cummins said she had read this note but that the Editor-in-Chief of MUSEUM International was unfortunately not present to give further details about this publication.

Alissandra Cummins thanked the various speakers and the Treasurer. The members of the Advisory Committee took due note of the draft triennial budget, while bearing in mind that a number of amendments are to be expected following the extraordinary meeting which will be convened to discuss MuseDoma.

6.b. Report of the Secretary General

Manus Brinkman, the Secretary General of ICOM, briefly presented the activities of the Secretariat, which would be submitted to the General Assembly.

He evaluated the period that had come to an end and reminded members that details and additional information were available in the 1998-2001 Report of Activities (http://www.icom.org/act_rep.html).

The workshop held in Hanoi (Vietnam) on the protection of cultural heritage in South East Asia, organised in partnership with ICOM-ASPAC, had been attended by 80 heritage and museum experts, police officers and customs officials, as well as resource people from the South East Asian region (Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar or Burma and Brunei). Representatives of the ICOM International Committee had also taken part. The purpose of the workshop had been to highlight the issue of security and national legislation relating to the protection of cultural objects so as to eventually establish and strengthen closer regional co-operation and to develop educational and public awareness policies on the illicit traffic of cultural goods. A session had been devoted to the "Object ID Checklist", as a protective tool for cultural heritage. He felt it was a very enriching experience to participate in this workshop. It had clearly emerged that customs officials and police officers have different approaches to the way of describing objects. The Secretary General said the working group he attended had been conducted by Patricia Young, President of CIDOC. Manus Brinkman was able to appreciate the potential of the world network created by ICOM. The great experience and professional skills of the President of CIDOC turned out to be very useful. The same could be said about the representatives of ICMS and ICOM-CC. The presence of the Chairperson of the Advisory Committee, clearly reflecting the commitment of ICOM towards colleagues in South East Asia, was highly appreciated.

ICOM had restructured its Web site and opted for a simple site that could be updated easily. The information disseminated by ICOM, an international organisation, must be accessible to all members, even those who do not have new and rapid computers (and there are many of them). For the latter, it should be as easy to consult the Web site as for those with more sophisticated software. This is why the Web site does not use systems requiring high technology, such as "frames", "Flash", etc., which make it possible to create Web sites that are visually and aesthetically more pleasant and attractive. In order to facilitate consultation, nearly all the basic information designed to guide surfers is accessible from the home page. The Web site is easy to manage and can be updated rapidly by the ICOM Secretariat. The contents of the Web site have already been updated in two languages. This task is carried out by Carla Bonomi who has been working in the General Secretariat as an Internet Content Editor since November 2000.

Manus Brinkman informed members of the publication of a new volume in the series "One Hundred Missing Objects", devoted to "Looting in Europe". This publication had been made possible thanks to the Florence Gould Foundation, the French Ministry of Culture and Communications, and UNESCO. He pointed out that European countries were not immune to the looting and theft of their heritage. Religious objects were a favourite target of thieves. The publication concentrates on four countries: the Czech Republic, France, Italy and Hungary. Obviously, these countries are not the only victims of the looting of religious objects but they are nevertheless typical of the general situation prevailing in Europe.

Manus Brinkman explained that the objects described in the book had been selected with the active collaboration of the Department of Architecture and Heritage in France, the Cultural Heritage Department in Hungary, the Command of the Carabinieri responsible for the Protection of Artistic Heritage in Italy, and the Heritage Department of Museums and Galleries in the Czech Republic. The work had been published in English and French, and also in the language of the countries concerned, so as to enable nationals to recognise the objects described and eventually identify them. Thanks to this publication, the Austrian auction house Dorotheum had returned a 17th century sculpture of the Evangelist Mark to the Czech Republic in April 2001. Likewise, a Virgin and Child, stolen in 1992 and published in "One Hundred Missing Objects", had been returned by a Czech antique dealer. Each country had organised a press conference with a view to stimulating press campaigns and developing closer collaboration.

With respect to the ".museum" project, the Secretary General said that credit was due not only to the Secretariat but also to Cary Karp who had investigated ways in which ICOM could play a role as a leading cultural organisation on the Internet. The Secretary General explained that the approval of the new domain name ".museum" by ICANN would have consequences on the work of the Secretariat. Manus Brinkman informed members that he and Cary Karp attended a meeting held in Los Angeles in November 2000, during which it turned out that this domain name would be approved as one of only seven new names ratified by ICANN among the hundreds of requests. Manus Brinkman pointed out that ICOM would not have been able to submit an application without the help of the J. Paul Getty Trust with which it created MuseDoma, the organisation that would be responsible for handling ".museum". Cary Karp would be the President of MuseDoma, while the Secretary General of ICOM would serve as the Secretary. The President of ICOM was also the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of MuseDoma. Both ICOM and the J. Paul Getty Trust have two seats on the Board. The remaining two seats had been left vacant for future members of MuseDoma. Manus Brinkman said that a session devoted to ".museum", chaired by Cary Karp, had been organised for Wednesday, 4 July, within the framework of the General Conference.

Manus Brinkman reported that the Secretariat was currently studying the best way to develop information provided by the Information Centre. He also wished to further develop the Publications Service of ICOM.

Patrick Boylan (ICTOP) congratulated Manus Brinkman on his Franks lecture to the British Museum in June 2001.

7.THE REFORM OF ICOM: Presentation by Bernice Murphy, Chairperson of the ICOM-RTF Working Group
Bernice Murphy, Chairperson of the Reform Task Force, presented a progress report on the continuing reform work and compilation of final documents, since the Task Force's first working meeting in October 1999.

She described the most recent work carried out by the Task Force since December 2000, when a comprehensive list of 55 proposed Reforms had been circulated and placed before the Extraordinary Session of the Advisory Committee meeting for its consideration and discussion. A number of suggestions from the December discussions - by both the Advisory and the Executive Council - had been acted upon, and were able to be incorporated in the final document of 54 proposed Reforms now ready to be placed before the General Assembly in Barcelona.

Two papers would finally be presented to the General Assembly: (a) a Summary of Recommendations (incorporating final revisions) - first circulated throughout ICOM in May 1999, as part of the 'Tool Box Report for Renovation and Reform of ICOM' (a 102-page comprehensive document from ICOM-RTF); (b) an ICOM Strategic Plan, 2001-2007 - a document also developed from a first version appearing at the end of the 'Tool Box Report' in 1999, and now further revised, incorporating Secretariat staff input and some fine-tuning. This organised actions according to three overriding Organizational Objectives for ICOM to pursue in the forthcoming triennium, with a detailed Action Plan and list of responsible parties and time frames, to help guide the forthcoming Council on implementation of the reform recommendations proposed as a result of ICOM-RTF's work since June 1999, when it was formally constituted by the Council.

Bernice Murphy thanked Advisory Committee members of ICOM for their comments and input in December 2000, and indicated a few of the ways in which suggestions had been able to be incorporated in the final documents made ready in April/May for Barcelona. The ICOM Values Statement had been somewhat reorganised, raising some values higher in the list (for example, training), as had been suggested, and substituting the concept of 'co-operation' among museums, instead of 'mutual assistance programs'. Moreover 'conservation' had been incorporated specifically in both the ICOM Mission and Values Statement - following members' suggestions that this was one of the central tasks of museum work, and needed to appear clearly in documents for the sake of general public awareness, not merely be assumed.

On membership: proposed revisions were explained, and especially why the Recommendation of the new category of Student Membership was being proposed (to enable ICOM to address the issue of recruiting young professionals, when they were in post-graduate courses directly leading to a career in museums). However there were some important caveats: this new category would be a non-voting one, and was conceived as being restricted in its proportional size within ICOM; National Committees would have a strong role in deciding which are, or are not, appropriate post-graduate courses in museum studies in their respective countries for recruitment of such membership; and places for participation by students at special ICOM meetings would - as is normal - be left to the discretionary judgment of organisers of such meetings.

The role of the Advisory Committee had been generally strengthened in the proposed ICOM reforms, and the various proposed Task Forces and new Standing Committees should help in promoting more cross-functional flexibility and recurrent work by smaller, task-oriented groups within ICOM.

In the case of the proposed Nominations Committee, a number of members expressed some anxiety in this regard. Bernice Murphy explained that this committee was designed (a) to stimulate candidatures for election of the Executive Council at each General Assembly; (b) to focus on the job brief of the Council when the Advisory chooses its final list to go forward a year in advance of the Assembly; and (c) to help promote the idea of desirable experiences and balance of skills for the tasks of governnance and leadership on Council itself. However the proposed Nominations Committee should NOT have the power to reject ANY candidate legitimately proposed; and the final preferred list of candidates would be made - as before (and as prescribed in the Statutes) - by the Advisory Committee alone.

Bernice Murphy reminded members that, if the proposed Reform documents were accepted and adopted by ICOM at the General Assembly, then the new ICOM Mission and Values statements should be regularly used wherever possible in the front pages of all future ICOM publications - to help fulfil the Communications Objective the organisation would now be pursuing more vigorously in terms of raising public awareness of its activities and values in the future.

Bernice Murphy finally reminded Advisory members that the separate but parallel work of the Ethics Committeee, under the chairmanship of Geoffrey Lewis, had produced a revision to the Code of Professional Ethics, and would move on in the next triennium to making that key document simpler for broad public interpretation (as Geoffrey Lewis would report separately). ICOM-RTF would be passing on its recommendations to the incoming Council that efforts should be taken up to try to make all of ICOM's core documents simpler to read and understand (including the form of the ICOM Statutes), and easier to use as tools of communication and reference in the cultural heritage sector more broadly.

The members of the Advisory Committee took due note of the report made by Bernice Murphy.

Alissandra Cummins thanked Bernice Murphy for her presentation.

Gary Edson, a member of the Ethics Committee, presented the report of the Working Group in the absence of its Chairperson, Geoffrey Lewis. He told members that following a meeting held in December 2000, an amended proposal had been submitted to them, taking into account the comments made in December. This document had been sent to members and published on the ICOM Web site in order to receive as many comments as possible. The version presented was, consequently, in compliance with the wishes of the Advisory Committee.

The members of the Advisory Committee had asked that the Code be completely revised, reconsidered and rewritten. Alissandra Cummins said this proposal would be submitted to the Executive Council for consideration.

The Chairperson thanked Gary Edson for his presentation and announced that the document submitted to the Advisory Committee would be put to the General Assembly for a final decision.

Jacques Perot, President of ICOM, presented the proposed amendments. He pointed out that they were minor amendments referring to the proposals of the Reform Task Force. The amendments relate to articles 2 (vi, vii, viii) on the definition of ICOM, 6 (1, 6) on the categories of members, 7 (2, 3) on requests for membership, 21 (1, 13a) on the Advisory Committee, 22 (2) on the Executive Council, and 27 (2) on the election of the Executive Council.

With respect to article 6, the President reminded members that it was up to the Executive Council for the period 2001-2004 to determine the practical rules to implement requests for membership from students. The proposals would be submitted to the Advisory Committee before application.

Article 21 strengthens the role of the Advisory Committee and gives it the power to take decisions on important matters between two official sessions.

Article 22 increases the number of members of the Executive Council to 15, in compliance with the recommendations of the Reform Task Force. Article 27 is the logical follow-up to the increase in the number of Executive Council members.

Some members of the Advisory Committee questioned the criteria for accepting students as members. Jacques Perot replied that precise rules would be introduced and that it would also be up to the National Committees to play their role as decision-makers.

In the name of ICOFOM, André Desvallées presented a draft amendment to article 2, attached to this report. Jacques Perot noted the suggestions and said they would be taken into consideration when the Statutes are revised in 2004. He said that the General Assembly would "tidy up" the Statutes but not proceed with an in-depth revision at this time. This would not take place until the General Assembly of 2004.

Cary Karp asked that the notion of creative digital activity be introduced in the proposed definition of a museum. During the following explanation it was emphasised that original digital creative work is now commonplace. Established museums include such works in their collections and there are new museums that exclusively collect born digital work. All activity conducted on the Internet is, by definition, digital. If the ICOM definition of museum is to serve as a fully adequate basis for the policy of the ".museum" Internet domain, it will be necessary for that definition explicitly to recognize digital creative work. The Advisory Committee approved the proposal and requested the Secretariat to add the following phrase to article 2 (viii) to be put before the General Assembly: "living heritage and creative digital activity".

The draft Strategic Plan for the five-year period 2001-2007, presented during the meeting held in December 2000 and amended in accordance with comments made by members of the Advisory Committee, would be submitted for approval to the General Assembly to be held on Friday, 6 July 2001.

10.1. Creation of the Working Groups on National and International Committees

Martin Schärer, member of the Executive Council, explained to members why two reform groups were to be created, one for National Committees and the other for International Committees.

He said that National Committees were the lifeblood of the Organisation and that it was important to reform them, as well as the International Committees. The Executive Council had therefore decided to set up these two groups of nine members.

Peggy Loar (AAM/ICOM) asked that a person within these groups be assigned to study the positive and negative aspects of relations with national museum associations.

Sandra Lorimer indicated that people who were no longer members of the Advisory Committee would have no future role in these Working Groups as currently proposed. She regretted this saying that these persons have a lot of experience and might thus be attributed an important role.

Martin Schärer accepted these remarks indicating that he would certainly propose to the Executive Council not to exclude former members of the Advisory Committee from participation in these two committees.

Shaje'a Tshiluila, President of AFRICOM, reported on the activities of the new, professional and non-governmental organisation of museums of Africa, established in October 1999 in Lusaka (Zambia). She recalled the origin of AFRICOM and its main objective to examine the role and pertinence of museums for the African continent, as well as their development. Several objectives and projects had been implemented:

  • identification of the network of museum professionals in Africa;
  • development of training programmes for museums in Africa, with the priority given to educational services, documentation of collections, and management;
  • the possibility of greater autonomy for museums;
  • the fight against illicit traffic;
  • information and standardisation of inventories of African collections;
  • improved communications through the Internet tool

She reminded the Committee that she and the Treasurer had been elected for three years, together with members of the Governing Board from Central and Southern Africa, the North, the East, the West and the Indian Ocean region. The city of Nairobi had been chosen as the headquarters of the Organisation. AFRICOM has three organs: the General Assembly, the Governing Board and the Executive Secretariat. The official texts have been finalised and AFRICOM has been recognised as an NGO, in accordance with the legislation of Kenya. Furthermore, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed with the National Museum of Kenya, which houses the headquarters, and a director had been recruited in accordance with international standards.

She noted that the goal of AFRICOM is to contribute to the development of African societies by stimulating the vocation of museums as generators of culture and agents of cultural cohesion. Its mission was to contribute to the development of museum policies and networks of institutions and museum professionals at the regional and continental levels, based on a cultural cohesion that goes beyond geographic and linguistic barriers. The Chairperson described the objectives of AFRICOM in detail:

  • to promote the development of museums and assimilated institutions in Africa within the context of global development;
  • to further the development of the professions that form the foundation of museum activities;
  • to strengthen collaboration between museums and museum professionals in Africa and develop exchanges with museum professionals abroad;
  • to increase the participation of all the components of society in the protection and enhancement of cultural and natural heritage.

The President of AFRICOM said that funds were being sought from UNESCO to equip offices and update the directory. Furthermore, SIDA (Swedish International Development Authority) had also been asked for help to establish AFRICOM as an organisation. Funds were raised by the Representative of West Africa for the organisation of a regional workshop that took place in Bamako (Mali) in November 2000 on the follow-up of the project to standardise inventories.

In addition, thanks to an ICOM-UNESCO contract, an exhibition had been organised in Gaoua (Burkina-Faso) in May 2001 in the framework of the Museum Education Programme of Africa (MEPOA). The implementation of this project provided a concrete example of the kind of work undertaken with local communities aimed at bringing together the museum population around traditional crafts.

At present, AFRICOM is organising an exhibition on the theme of "A Thousand Drums in Unison for an Africa without Frontiers" that would be inaugurated in August 2001 in Brazzaville on the occasion of the Pan African Music Festival.

Shaje'a Tshiluila thanked the ICOM Secretariat and the ICOM Executive Council for their contributions to the creation of this new Organisation.


12.1. Report of the Working Group
Jean-Marcel Humbert (AVICOM) presented the report of the Working Group on International Committees:

  • Request for the creation of an International Committee on City Museums.
    Jean-Marcel Humbert said that the Working Group was not in favour of setting up such a committee, thus following the advice of ICMAH insofar as it is not preferable to increase the number of committees and a sub-committee of City Museums could easily be set up within ICMAH.
  • Request for the creation of an International Committee for Memorial Museums for Public Crimes against Humanity.
    This was a symbol. The Working Group was in favour of this request but nevertheless suggested that the name of the Committee should be carefully chosen.
  • Request for the creation of an Affiliated Organisation, the International Association of Museum Facilities Administrators (IAMFA).

The Working Group encountered difficulties in translating the name of the Association in French. It asked for a complementary study to be carried out. In its opinion, the association was too small and too regional in nature, and it therefore lacked an international dimension. It was not, for the moment, in favour of this request.

In addition, the Working Group recommended the suspension of the establishment of any other new Committees until the study recommended by the Reform Task Force was carried out.

12.2. Proposals to establish International Committees

The members of the Advisory Committee had studied the various requests in the light of the conclusions of the Working Group on International Committees and proposed the following solutions:

  • Request for the creation of an International Committee on City Museums. The members decided to postpone the creation of such a committee and to study other possibilities.
  • Request for the creation of an International Committee for Memorial Museums for Public Crimes against Humanity The members decided to submit this request to the Executive Council of ICOM for consideration.
  • Request for the creation of an Affiliated Organisation, the International Association of Museum Facilities Administrators (IAMFA).

The members decided to postpone a decision on this request until the Reform Group on International Committees is set up.

The members of the Advisory Committee chose the theme of "Museums and Globalisation" for the International Museums Day in 2002. All the members expressed a wish to receive the file on this theme as soon as possible.

Jacques Perot suggested discussing the theme for 2003. Two themes have been proposed for 2003: "Museums and Friends" and "Museum and Money".

Giovanni Pinna (Italy) presented the last issue of MUSEUM International, together with a memorandum from the Editor-in-Chief, Isabelle Vinson. In his view, the museum community could not afford to lose this review and asked whether it was possible for ICOM to envisage continuing to publish it if UNESCO decided to stop its publication. Peter Stanbury (UMAC) suggested that the printed version be stopped so as to lower the costs of publication. Emmanuel Arinze (CAM) pointed out that it was a reference work and asked ICOM to collaborate with UNESCO to continue publishing this review. He added that a version available only on the Web would deprive a large number of professionals who do not have the necessary equipment to access to Internet.

Nancy Hushion (INTERCOM) remarked that the Editor-in-Chief did not refer to the end of the publication but rather a change in its contents. Patrick Boylan (ICTOP) mentioned the problems relating to the English version.

Alissandra Cummins thanked Giovanni Pinna and the speakers who expressed their support for this review. She suggested that the Resolutions Committee of the General Assembly should draft a resolution on this issue.

Peggy Loar (AAM-ICOM) read out a paper on the confiscation of Jewish cultural property that would be submitted to the Resolutions Committee (see text in appendix4). Patrick Boylan (ICTOP) said that this phenomenon was even more widespread than the States mentioned.

Eloisa Zell, Membership Service Officer in the Secretariat, with responsibility for electoral procedures, reminded the members of the Committee of the statutory requirements concerning eligibility to vote during the General Assembly that will be held on 6 July 2001.


Alissandra Cummins (Barbados), the only candidate for the period and thus to succeed herself, was re-elected by the members of the Advisory Committee following a vote by a show of hands. She thanked members of the Advisory Committee for their confidence.


Alissandra Cummins announced that the 62nd session would be brief but important because of the election of the Vice-Chairperson of the Advisory Committee. It was scheduled for Friday, 6 July 2001, from 3.30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The Advisory Committee thanked the outgoing Executive Council as well as members of the Reform Task Force for their excellent work over the last 3 years. The Chairperson thanked the Advisory Committee for their enthusiastic support and active participation throughout the period.

(Original: French) -
For further information, please contact: thibet@icom.org

Updated: 7 June 2005