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ICOM Advisory Committee

63rd Session - 3-5 June 2002 - Paris, France

Minutes


- Appendix 1: List of members of the Nominations Committee
- Appendix 2:
Session on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage
- Appendix 3: List of participants

INTRODUCTION

Alissandra Cummins, Chairperson of the Advisory Committee, welcomed the participants and observers to the 63rd session of the Committee. She specifically welcomed the new members who were participating at their first meeting and who were also very appreciative of the special orientation session that had been organised for them the previous day. On this occasion, the Chair wished to share some thoughts relating to the horrific events of September 11th and of museums' vital role as 'mirrors' of society and as 'forgers' of new paths and new links. She also noted that a commitment was vital in the task of rebuilding after the 'irretrievable' losses in the aftermath of the destruction wrought in Afghanistan and in East Timor.

She stressed that the Organisation's most important task for the triennial was the fulfilment of its three main objectives as laid out in the Strategic Plan of Action approved by the General Assembly in July 2001. During its three days of meetings, the Advisory would critically examine the Organisation's progress in the implementation of its programme. A core responsibility was participation in the work of the various Task Forces as well as in the establishment of a pilot Nominations Committee. The Chair also looked forward to valuable insights on the new UNESCO Convention on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Property.

A minute's silence was observed to commemorate members who recently died:

Prof. André Veinstein, founding member of SIBMAS (1954), Vice President of SIBMAS until 1988 & Curator at the Musée des Arts & Spectacle in Paris,
Dr. Hiranao Sakamoto, Director General of the Tokyo National Museum and former Chairperson of the Japanese National Committee,
Ms. Ghilia Gur-Erell, Curator at the Yad Chaim Herzog (Israel),
Mr. Mychailo Romanyshyn, Director of the National Art Museum in Kiyiv (Ukraine),
Dr. Colin Edward Sorensen, Keeper Emeritus at the Museum of London (U.K.),
Mr. Tadeusz Chruscicki, Director of the Muzeum Narodowe w Krakowie (Poland),
Mlle Anne-Elisabeth Riskine, Conservateur at the Musée de préhistoire in Carnac (France),
Mr. Igor Dubov, Director of the State Ethnography Museum in St. Petersburg (Russia),
Mr. Herman Willems, Curator at the Museum van Loon in Amsterdam, and especially
Ms. Graciela Paolini, Secretary at the UNESCO Permanent Delegation of Argentina and long-time member of ICOM, who was a vital contact person for the Secretariat during the 1986 General Conference in Buenos Aires (Argentina).

0. ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA

Due to the uncertainty of the time of appearance of the UNESCO representative and the limited availability of Geoffrey Lewis, Chairperson of the Ethics Committee, some of the items of the draft agenda were shifted. An intervention of the Latvian representative concerning Museum Basics will be taken up under Item 18 (Other Matters).

The revised draft agenda was adopted.

1. ADOPTION OF THE MINUTES OF THE ADVISORY COMMITTEE

1.a. 61st session, June 29, 2001 (Barcelona, Spain)

The minutes of this session were adopted with the following amendment requested by A. Galla (Australia, ICOM ASPAC):

English version, page 11, para. 3, line 13, to read as follows: 'The Secretary General said the working group he attended... "

1.b. 62nd session, July 6, 2001 (Barcelona, Spain)

The minutes of this session were adopted without amendment.



2. REVIEW OF OFFICIAL DOCUMENTS

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

Advisory members had no comments on the 98th session of Council. It was noted that the 99th session of Council was in fact a working meeting and did not have official minutes. The minutes of its 100th session was a draft document.

The Advisory took due note of the draft minutes of Council's latest meeting.

2.b. Secretary General's Report

The Secretary General described the Secretariat's activities over the past year within the framework of the Strategic Action Plan.

In the area of membership, a key assumption of the Plan had been a growth of 6.7% per year. The past year however only saw a growth of 3 %. This was due to a membership increase in Europe but decline in the rest of the world, especially in North America. The Secretary General felt therefore that an overall strategy needed to be thought out in order to boost growth with a focus only on specific countries and with the provision of human and financial resources for an active promotion of ICOM.

In the field of communication, he dwelt on the increasing importance of electronic communications on the Organization's ways of working. The intensive use of ICOM-L, the development of dot-museum and the ensuing lively debate on its usefulness, ICOM's improved website content, research on the possibility of an on-line membership directory: these were noted as proofs of the significant impact of electronic communication on ICOM's management of its work. He appealed to the Advisory and especially to the National Committees to promote dot-museum in their respective countries.

He described the 'new look' of ICOM News and the periodicity of established rubrics, i.e. heritage in danger, committees' platforms, etc. He reported on the inclusion of Spanish text in the latest edition of Study Series (that focussed on ICTOP). The website continues to expand with inclusion of professional information, i.e. the ICOM Standards and Norms for Museums, thematic dossiers of ICOM News, lists of discussion fora, museums associations, documentation centres and specialised associations. Future benefits for members could include publications on-line as well as an on-line membership directory.

In the realm of its programme activities, the Secretary General elaborated on the following projects:

  1. the organization, together with the Museums Association of the Caribbean (MAC), of a training course on website development for museums. This was in conjunction with ICOM's framework agreement with UNESCO wherein the two partners had decided to concentrate on programmes that provided training in new technologies
  2. the convening of a meeting in Bogota (Colombia) to draw up a Red List of endangered cultural objects from Latin America. This was a follow up to its core activities in illicit traffic and was organized in collaboration with the Colombian Ministry of Culture and ICOM LAC;
  3. the establishment of a new partnership with the Colombia-based Conveno Andres Bello that will sponsor cultural activities in the region, most probably starting with the Museum Forum at the ICOM CC triennial in Rio de Janeiro in September 2002;
  4. the revitalisation of ICOM ARAB with a successful meeting held in Paris in February 2002 and the production and diffusion of the fifth edition of the Arab Museums Newsletter late in 2001.

The Secretary General stated that funds were being raised for the ICOM ASPAC Regional Assembly in China and other meetings in the region to pave the way for the 2004 General Conference in Korea. He expressed satisfaction at the progress achieved (funds and partners secured) for ICOM's Museums Emergency Programme (MEP) and at the continuation of its initiatives for the eventual establishment of a Regional Centre for Museum & Conservation at the Nubia Museum in Aswan (Egypt). He stressed the major role that International Committees and Affiliated Organizations would play in the development of these activities.

The Secretary General expounded on the pressing and urgent problem of office space for the Secretariat due to UNESCO's decision to remove all NGOs from the Miollis building of UNESCO. Its latest proposal provided for reduced space for NGOs in a pre-fabricated building; the space reduction is offset by the continuing advantage of free office space and electronic capacities. However, working conditions would be such that temporary personnel cannot be recruited to help carry out programmes and other activities. He stressed that a long-term solution to resolve this matter must be found soon.

In conclusion, he thanked all members of the Secretariat for the continuing good quality of their work despite the difficult working environment, calling particular attention to Thomas Jandia who took over some of the administrative tasks of Joëlle Thibet who is on a year-long maternity leave. He stated that the staff was truly a versatile and multipurpose team.

Comments arising from the Secretariat report

P. Boylan (ICTOP) commented on the long-standing need for a code on cultural tourism; he welcomed the proposal for an emergency training programme but advised that ICOM should study earlier programmes previously organized by UNESCO in order to benefit from its perceived success or failure. A. Galla (Australia, ASPAC) also welcomed a code of cultural tourism but raised concerns about the promotion of eco-tourism in relation to the treatment of indigenous people. He stressed that ICOM needed to be 'sensitive' to the concerns of the Working Group on the World's Indigenous Populations regarding infrastructure and resources. ICOM was requested to ensure that custodians of indigenous knowledge systems were able to participate in this work through partnerships etc.

C. Annabi (Tunisia, ICOM ARAB) congratulated the Secretariat on the new design of ICOM News but regretted the disappearance of the page on stolen objects. The Secretary General replied that this rubric has been included with the section entitled 'Heritage in Danger'.

A. Ozola (Latvia) thanked the Secretariat and Council member G. Edson for their support and participation in their Conference devoted to the theme of "Museums in the 21st Century".

The Secretary General took the opportunity to congratulate the National Committees of Latvia and Sweden for recent conferences that were extremely well-organized.

2.c. Treasurer's Report

C. Gonzalez Gou, Treasurer, stated that her report covered a financial period that began with French Francs and ended with Euros. She noted that her primary task for the period consisted in ensuring that the Organisation's expenditures were in conformity with the programmes approved for 2001.

She was happy to report a positive balance of FF 394.320 (? 60.114). Further, the Organisation was able to collect overdue contributions, to cut down on some expenses and to collect income that had not been foreseen in the budget. She noted that a percentage of the Organisation's turnover was added to its reserve fund (a fund that had been earmarked to cover unexpected expenses and to ensure the survival and smooth functioning of the Organisation in the event that a major crisis should occur). Additional information added to the balance sheet described the investments of ICOM that were guaranteed by the Bank of France.

It is a given that trends in the world economy would have an impact on the finances of the Organisation; however the Treasurer was happy to report that ICOM's current financial situation is 'healthy and stable'.

The Budget for 2002 showed an increase of approximately 11.4%. The Treasurer expressed optimism that the balance between income and expenditure would remain at its 'customary' level. She noted increased expenses for office furniture and equipment due to the need to adapt present office space to a new layout and to provide staff with comfortable working conditions.

She made observations on the following points: ICOM's major income (about 50 %) from annual dues and the reliance on more members from States 'with more resources'; programme activities and its overhead; publications and the Documentation Centre as future sources of income; the development of MuseDoma (dot-museum) as another potential source of financial benefit; and a careful solution to the pressing problem of office space for the Secretariat.

The Treasurer concluded her report by stressing the important role of the Finance and Legal Affairs Committee that should seek concrete solutions and prospects for the Organisation's financial situation and programmes.

Comments arising from the Treasurer's Report

M. van Praët (France) asked for clarification regarding the budgeted decrease of membership income for 2002 and the source of income for MuseDoma. The Secretary General responded by iterating the natural phenomenon of membership decrease on the year after a general conference; as for MuseDoma, it recently received a grant from the European Union (EU) for an awareness campaign in European countries. ICOM will receive (and spend) ? 76,225.

Itzhak Brenner (Israel) asked for clarification on the purchase of Museum International and subventions for International Committees. The Secretary General replied that a grant from UNESCO enables ICOM to buy copies of Museum International that are then distributed to institutional members as a membership benefit. International Committees are given yearly regular subventions based on the number of their voting members. Furthermore, if funds allow, special projects can be proposed by International Committees for consideration by Council.

A question arose regarding the domain names for the National and International Committees. C. Karp (MuseDoma) replied that the domain is financed by ICOM, but that sub-domains for the committees will have to be set up on terms that ICOM would be comfortable with (specifically with regard to costs).


3. APPROVAL OF THE BALANCE SHEET AT 31 DECEMBER 2001

The Advisory Committee, having reviewed the Balance Sheet of December 31, 2001, approved it as presented by the Treasurer.


4. INTERVENTION OF THE PRESIDENT OF ICOM

Jacques Perot, President, first of all expressed his thanks to the members of the Reform Task Force for their hard work. He noted the setting up of the Standing Committees as called for by the Strategic Action Plan. He was grateful to the Secretariat for its intelligent and diligent work, particularly in the light of its current poor working conditions and the problem of insufficient office space; he thought that ICOM should look for different approaches for a viable solution to this problem (perhaps in conjunction with other NGOs like ICOMOS).

The President stated that ICOM was the voice of museum professionals; it is the forum for great questions that preoccupy the museum community, i.e. illicit traffic of cultural goods, Afghanistan, East Timor, inventory of collections, heritage in danger due to natural and man-made calamities. He thought that the International Committee of the Blue Shield (ICBS) should have a more active participation in some of these areas. The Organisation is also a place of reflection and stated that ICOM News is a venue for such an activity. In this connection he congratulated the Secretariat for the bulletin's new format and design.

He asked members to reflect on questions such as: privatisation of museums, inalienability of collections, culture and tourism, multi-cultural diversity, intangible heritage.

The President remarked on intangible heritage that would also be the theme of the General Conference in 2004, noting that ICOM's objective was not only to assure the success of the conference in Korea but also to work on the regionalisation of the Organisation and the need to expand ICOM's networks and to develop links with Asian colleagues.

He felt proud of the Organisation's achievements, but knew there were areas where work would still have to be accomplished. He was persuaded however that with a renewed and enthusiastic Organisation, one could assure the whole of society of the international museum community's active participation in the development of society, that ICOM has assumed its responsibilities toward cultural heritage with a professional and ethical commitment.

5. REPORT OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE ETHICS COMMITTEE

Geoffrey Lewis, Chairperson, presented his report on the work of the Committee. Firstly, he stated that the major revision of the Code of Ethics (approved unanimously at the General Assembly of 2001) had now been published and that copies would be sent to all members together with the next issue of ICOM News. Moreover it was available on the Organisation's website; he displayed a printed copy to the members.

Secondly, he reported on the Committee's on-going work whose objective was to produce a text that would be more user-friendly, accessible and comprehensible. The text would identify the key ethical principles involved in the museum operation and also provide clear guidelines of the best practices to meet them. Preliminary to this work the Committee, unconstrained by the present Code, analysed the museum operation and its requirements. They identified eight (8) sections and found that gaps were found in relation to the interpretative function, i.e. the enjoyment and understanding of natural and cultural heritage; he stated that the Committee would therefore be looking into this area.

He thought that it was not the Committee's role to be an innovator in museum theory and practice. However it had difficulty with the concepts of the 'museum' and the 'collection' and welcomed more discussion and a rapid resolution of this problem (with the aid of the Executive Council).

Mr. Lewis referred to five cases that had been referred to the Committee and that involved apparent breaches of the Code. He stated that there was evidence of certain museums and galleries still collecting material, the export of which is prohibited by the 1970 UNESCO Convention and the acquisition of which is contrary to ICOM's Code.

He reported on a particular case that has been under review for many years and which concerned the return of an item stolen from an African museum and acquired by a European museum. The Committee was anxious to see a resolution of this case, but the issue of compensation for the museum that returns the object seems to be preventing this. He drew attention to the UNIDROIT Convention (cited by the Code) that has a provision for compensation.

He expressed concern at certain cases that seemed to have reached a position of 'situation ethics', wherein circumstances alter the cases and ethical principles are discarded and partners come to a sort of mutual agreement with some institutions pursuing acquisitions or long-term loans of objects. He also pointed to an increase in cases relating to the unethical disposition of archaeological and palaeontological materials across national boundaries despite the apparent legitimacy of the acquisition in the vendor country, and also referred to the dubious sampling of natural history specimens in museum collections, for exchange with a private person. He expressed the hope that the Natural History International Committee would discuss the latter issue at their next meeting and also the question fossils which acquire "added value" through preparation, making them a target for return to their country of origin.

Questions arising from the Intervention of the Chair

R. West (USA) asked whether the Committee addressed the issue of repatriation of material. The Chair replied that the Committee's concern is in the principle, that it acts as facilitator and/or advisor.

E. Arinze (CAM) requested clarification on the issue of compensation and level of costs related to the restitution of cultural property, as well as on the Committee's role in addressing the issue of cross boundary restitution of cultural property. The Chair stressed ICOM's adherence to the principles of both UNESCO's Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property and UNIDROIT's complementary convention of 1995, noting that ICOM has also endorsed the latter as a standard for its own Code of Ethics.

P. Boylan (ICTOP) explained certain differences between the two conventions, noting that an important provision in the UNIDROIT Convention was the principle of 'good faith'. He further noted that museum professionals should comply with the 1970 Convention and that Member States were under legal obligation not to act against the treaties even if they had not ratified them.

The Chair affirmed that membership of ICOM implied acceptance of the Code of Ethics and therefore that membres abided by the requirements of the 1970 Convention.

B. Murphy (Vice President) reiterated that the Committee was in its second phase of revisionary work that aims to address issues of its format, clarity and structure/presentation.

Itzhak Brennner (Israel) and G. Pinna (Council member) asked if the Committee had paid any attention to the case of virtual museums. The Chair replied in the affirmative. He noted that copyright issues were a legal matter but the Committee had to address the issue of virtual collections. The Committee perceived a collection not merely as objects but as a knowledge-base; however the Committee does not see its role as an innovator of museum definitions.

J. MacAvity (INTERCOM) queried the source of the cases referred to the Committee. The Chair said that the cases came directly from members and added that none of them were hypothetical.

M. Saley Tim (Niger) stressed the fundamental issues of legislation and cooperation with national authorities and the need for raising awareness on the national level.

J.Y. Marin (ICMAH) insisted on the need for the Code of Ethics to have two basic versions (English and French) which reflected the nuances of both languages; he also called for the need to have it known outside the museum community, to generate respect for it by bringing it to the attention of the legal profession and of law schools.

The Chair confirmed that the Committee was giving this particular attention in the revised Code of Ethics. He also confirmed that the on-line version of the Code was the current and correct version of the document and paid tribute to the role that Mr. Marin and Mr. van-Praët had played in the translation of the French text.


6. INTERVENTION OF THE EDITOR OF MUSEUM INTERNATIONAL (UNESCO)

Isabelle Vinson, Editor, took the opportunity to welcome members to UNESCO Headquarters and stated that its doors were always open to them. She iterated ICOM's importance and its expertise in the implementation of UNESCO's programme on cultural heritage and said that she would transmit ICOM's concerns and expectations to the office of the Asst. Director General for Culture.

She took the opportunity to report on the revised editorial policy and new layout of Museum International; she informed those present of a recent initiative regarding the digitisation of the publication's back issues. She sought ICOM's support in these areas.

Questions arising from the Editor's intervention

P. Boylan (ICTOP) congratulated UNESCO on this very important initiative and would provide an invaluable resource for heritage / museum students and researchers. He asked that UNESCO consider extending the digitisation programme to the predecessor of the magazine, MOUSEION. A. Galla (ASPAC) expressed concern on the means of accessing this information for all countries. A. Galla (ASPAC) strongly supported the move to digitise the archives of the magazine and stated that he would pursue all opportunities for the access and use of the information by the members in the Asia Pacific region.


7. INTERVENTION OF THE ASST. DIRECTOR GENERAL OF UNESCO FOR CULTURE

Mr. Mounir Bouchenaki, ADG for Culture, presented a detailed report on the work that UNESCO was currently undertaking in the field of culture. He first took the opportunity to reassure the membership that he recognized the problems ICOM was experiencing in having to endure restricted office quarters in UNESCO, and stressed that he had always emphasized the importance of ICOM to UNESCO and the necessity of maintaining its presence at UNESCO Headquarters. He informed members however that the buildings were managed by the Member States and that relevant decisions on the matter were taken by its Executive Board. He noted that the Director General himself had recognized the importance of ICOM as one of the main NGOs with which UNESCO must work. He assured the Advisory Committee that he would continue to make similar representations to the Member States and to the Director General, and would emphasize the need for ICOM's presence in the same building as the Cultural Sector for easier working relationship.

Mr. Bouchenaki reported on two main areas of activity of the Sector: the first was the launching of 2002 as the United Nations Year for Cultural Heritage. He introduced its logo and stressed that ICOM had a primary role to play in the fulfilment of the two main axes under which this programme was launched. The first axis is 'development' - particularly where museums played an important role in the area of social and economic development and education. The second axis is 'knowledge of the Other' - an acknowledgement of and dialogue with the other particularly in regard to the intangible. He distributed a promotional kit that contained information on various aspects of cultural heritage, giving emphasis on the preparation of a Draft Convention on the Protection of Intangible Heritage.

He referred to the intense discussion on ethical issues relating to illicit traffic in cultural heritage which he had been privileged to hear during the preceding item. He noted that this was also an area of intense activity for UNESCO. In this respect he was very pleased to have received the recently published ICOM ASPAC report on the 2001 Hanoi Meeting on the Protection of Cultural Heritage in Southeast Asia, and praised ICOM for its endeavours in raising awareness about these issues.

The second area of activity that Mr. Bouchenaki reported on consisted of a detailed oral report on meetings he had recently attended in Afghanistan. Along with several agencies and foundations concerned with the preservation of cultural property in that country, UNESCO had been welcomed as a important partner in the process of recovering that country's cultural identity. The Afghan Government and its King had both stressed four main priorities in this field: physical rehabilitation of the Kabul Museum; restoration of monuments and sites and inclusion of these on the World Heritage List; fight against illicit traffic of cultural property; and training for museum and heritage workers. He paid tribute to the Director of the Kabul Museum, Mr. Omara Khan Massoudi, who never left his post despite the chaos and peril of the situation. He stressed that the reconstruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas was not a priority. Instead, a rehabilitation of the niche where they were located is planned.

In conclusion, he envisaged ICOM as playing a major role in virtually every area of these priorities.

Comments arising from this intervention

Both Alissandra Cummins and Jacques Perot responded to reflect the encouragement his words had given ICOM with respect to its continued importance to UNESCO, the major focus of action and the role clearly envisaged for it to play in UNESCO's programmes. The President went further to stress ICOM's willingness to help in the sensitisation of the public regarding illicit traffic of cultural property. Further he proposed that ICOM pass a motion of gratitude and appreciation for the extraordinary work and commitment to the Director of the Kabul Museum, who remained at his post to protect the museum's collection throughout the period of devastation and destruction wrought in the country. He urged UNESCO to recognize the importance of a meeting to discuss the parameters of the programme which ICOM would implement for UNESCO.

Some members later reacted to indicate that while UNESCO was to be congratulated for its rapid action in respect of Afghanistan, the destruction and dislocation experienced by that country was similar to what had occurred elsewhere over the last two decades, particularly in several African and Eastern European countries. It was deemed necessary for ICOM to play close attention to these other situations and not simply focus on Afghanistan.

Others stressed the importance of not simply bringing in foreign expertise to carry out this vital work, but that it was essential to involve and include nationals in this process from the start so that they could 'own the process'. In the restoration process it was deemed important not to decontextualise the object from the community. The scale of activity proposed clearly provided opportunity for much needed employment and opportunities for sustainable development.

P. Kåks (Sweden) offered the case of the association 'Patrimoine Sans Frontières' (Heritage without Borders) as an example of the kind of practical result-giving work that should be supported and continued. He cited its on-going rehabilitation work in Bosnia-Herzegovina. He thought that ICOM should prepare a list of countries in need of support.

D. Grattan (ICOM CC) also recommended drawing up a list of agencies offering aid.


8. REVIEW OF THE STRATEGIC ACTION PLAN 2001-2007

The Secretary General rapidly reviewed the progress achieved on the various initiatives specified under the Strategic Plan, offering observations on the progress achieved to date. He highlighted some of the achievements.

Under Objective 1: the establishment of Task Forces on National Committees and Regional Organisations and on International Committees and Affiliated Organisations; the drafting of core policies on publications, on membership and on ICOM's partners and the submission of these draft documents to Council for consideration; the commencement of thematic bibliographies for inclusion in ICOM News.

Under Objective 2: the on-going work on the revision of the Code of Ethics; the advancement of the work of Musedoma; the concentration of programme work in the regions of Latin America and Asia (in accordance with decisions taken during the General Conference) as well as continued collaboration with Africom; the slow implementation of the student membership category due to the fact that recommendations are awaited from the various Task Forces.

Under Objective 3, the constant promotion of the Code of Ethics; the review work that will be done on the Statutes; the discussions of the Working Group on Languages that met the previous Saturday; and the research that had been done on a proposed on-line members' directory. The Secretary General reminded those present that details on these activities were to be found in the Secretariat's Activity Report.

Comments arising from the Review of the Strategic Action Plan

N. Merriman (U.K) and P. Stanbury (UMAC) expressed disappointment at the lack of progress in the development of student membership. D. Grattan (ICOM CC) stressed the importance of implementing this category in order to replace the 'aging' members of the Organization.

It was also noted that there has not been an examination of ICOM members' Internet connectivity.

D. Castro (Colombia) noted its importance for guiding national committees in developing their own strategic plans.

N. Hushion (INTERCOM) noted that the Strategic Action Plan was a 'rolling plan' and that it needed to be updated each year.

8.a MuseDoma

C. Karp (MuseDoma) was invited to report on the progress made to date with this activity. He first gave the history of how the initiative came about and afterwards provided a comprehensive overview of the development of museums' registration, which he thought had great potential as a source of revenue generation. He exhorted those present to follow up on this activity, emphasising the museums' job as 'multipliers'. He averred that registration in dot-museum was a statement that the registered institution conducted relevant museum activities and that this enhanced the institution's value as a museum. He described the procedures in the registration of an institution with MuseDoma and the costs involved in maintenance. He concluded by stating that every museum would benefit from the strong Internet presence of dot-museum.

Questions arising from this intervention

Members' questions focussed largely on the procedures and actual costs for registration, on the application of the ICOM definition of museums both to their own eligibility, but particularly to non-members of ICOM as well as on the possibility of individual registration. Clarification was also sought on the application of this definition to virtual museums and indeed to non-collection based members of ICOM.

C. Karp responded to all these points and clarified that dot-museum could be equally applied to all aspects of intangible as well as tangible heritage, depending on how ICOM chose to define 'museum'.

The discussion served to underline for the Advisory Committee the importance of ICOM's work in redefining the concept of a museum, and also the need for a user's manual to guide members seeking to register. Observations were made on the potentiality for abuse of this system. C. Karp indicated that MuseDoma would need the help of national and regional associations to help determine eligibility of applications. He assured members that registration with MuseDoma would not affect members' existing domain presence, and that in fact one could retain several different domain names. He strongly emphasized that the parallel domain name on dot-museum would provide a more direct approach to an institution's web presence.


9. REVIEW AND CONFIRMATION OF THE MANDATE OF THE NOMINATIONS COMMITTEE

The Chair reminded members of the circulation of the draft Terms of Reference for the Nominations Committee both by mail and Internet early in the year. She gave the background history for the establishment of this pilot committee and described the actual process in the nomination of candidates for the Executive. She requested Advisory's assistance in identifying members for the Committee. It was also recalled that this was a trial period for this pilot committee. She reminded members that with the expansion of Council's membership to 15, the list of nominated candidates must number 30.

The Chair emphasized that the Committee would not take away the responsibilities vested in the Advisory by the Statutes, whose primary task would be to identify and propose candidates for the next election of the Executive Council. She reiterated that the normal procedures by which the Advisory selected candidates would remain in place and that the Nominations Committee would only participate in the case that a sufficient number of candidates was not met. Members of the Nominations Committee will be required to indicate that they themselves were not candidates seeking election in 2004. The Committee would only meet once a year but would regularly communicate by electronic means. The Chair asked that names be put forward during the separate meetings of the Committees scheduled for the following day.

Comments arising from this question

D. Grattan (ICOM CC) thought that the main issue concerned the 'internationality' of the Executive; that the Committee should ensure that the Executive was representative of all the world's regions and that there was therefore also a need for the Committee itself to be as broad-based as possible.

The Chair queried if 'regionality' was to be a criterion for the Executive; she felt that demonstrated capacity was a more important factor than regional participation. She reminded members of the relevant discussions on this matter which took place in relation to the RTF discussions. She averred that the Committee would serve as an appropriate mechanism to assist with the identification of appropriate candidates with demonstrated capacities for serving in the Executive. This Committee also had a role in developing promotional programmes to educate members and to encourage candidatures from among the broad range of ICOM membership.

Members unanimously endorsed the Terms of Reference of the Nominations Committee without amendment.

10. EMERGENCY SITUATIONS

10.a Report on the International Committee of the Blue Shield

The Secretary General reported on ICOM's activities in this regard. He regretted the inability of the Committee (that is not an Association per se) to do any coordination. He however noted the positive participation of UNESCO and ICCROM, despite their governmental status, in many initiatives. He noted that a different format for their constitution as members of ICBS was in preparation. New information leaflets have been produced and a website will be developed. National Committees have been established in Belgium, France, The Netherlands.

10. b Emergency Reports

P. Boylan (ICTOP) gave a brief cogent report on the situation regarding the protection of cultural property in the Middle East. He stated that a reconstruction programme on cultural heritage had been suspended due to the current violent situation in the region. He reported on the respect accorded by the Israeli military to cultural property even though the country was not a party to the 1954 Convention. From the museums' point of view, he noted the involvement of the community in the establishment of museums and the assistance given by the Palestinian Authority in the development of a catalogue of standards. He regretted the limited information regarding damage to museums themselves (in Nablus for instance), but said that there had been a report on damage to the Contemporary Art Museum.

He said that the most urgent and immediate problem was to find offices for the Cultural Ministry that had been greatly damaged when it housed the military and whose records and documentation were either damaged or lost. The crucial points, he thought, were to assist professional colleagues to enable them to start working again and rebuild their documentation and to have security measures in place so that the Cultural and Antiquities Ministries could again operate effectively.

A. Galla (ICOM ASPAC) reported on the interest of East Timor in establishing their own heritage management system. With its independence on May 20th, the country has started mapping out its own Strategic Plan with regard to its patrimony. With Portugal's cooperation, it will commence on an inventory of its collections in Portugal with the aim of digitising these resources and making them available. Ten bursaries will be granted to train museum professionals in Japan. He asked for ICOM's support in facilitating these tasks.

Comments arising from these interventions

T. Scheiner (Brazil) stated that their national committee could also be of assistance to East Timor. The ASPAC delegate thanked Brazil and said that East Timor had also received offers of aid from Macao and other Portuguese-speaking countries, like Mozambique.

P. Kruseman (Netherlands) felt that the UNESCO report should recognize the work done by the Blue Shield Committee in emergency situations. The Chair said that this was not a deliberate omission and supported the statement.

E. Arinze (CAM) commented on the seeming exclusion of some regions/countries from the ICOM's emergency programmes, citing the cases of Sierra Leone, Congo, Burundi and Liberia whose museums and cultural heritage also experienced massive damage and destruction.

The Chair stressed that ICOM had no policy of 'exclusion' but that priorities on certain areas had been set by the General Conference; she explained that the information on the regions was given on a voluntary basis. However she expressed her gratitude to the CAM delegate for informing the Advisory of the situation in the African continent.

The ASPAC delegate reminded those present of the resolution passed in Barcelona on the subject of East Timor and stressed that this was his 'Holy Grail' and that the Organisation did not finance his activities in the country.

The ICTOP delegate recalled that for a twelve year period, Africa was the top priority of the Organisation; he stressed the need for relevant information to 'get out' of the countries and for colleagues to 'feed' information to ICOM and to UNESCO, the need to urge governments to ratify Conventions and to persuade these governments to recognize their national heritage as well as that of other peoples. He deplored the way cultural agendas are sometimes fixed by the international news media.

N. Merriman (U.K.) shared information about the long-running emergency situation in Somalia, noting the absence of infrastructure for museums and reporting that squatters had apparently taken refuge in the ruins of the museums.

The Chair took note of the preceding comments that she thought served to remind members of ICOM's crucial role in supplying assistance first and foremost to colleagues, facilitating strategic planning and training processes, and the identification of funding for this purpose. While reassuring members that ICOM did not exclude any countries from its activities, the Advisory was again reminded of the relevant decisions taken at the General Conference in Barcelona relating to East Timor, and the focus on Asia and Latin America for the triennium.


11. REPORTS OF REGIONAL ORGANISATIONS

Succinct reports on the activities of the regional organizations for the year were given by the representatives of ICOM-Arab, ICOM-ASPAC and ICOM-Europe.

11.a. ICOM-Arab

Ms. C. Annabi (Secretary of ICOM Arab) first gave the historical background of the Organisation, noting the initiative for its establishment during a regional meeting organized by ICOM in Amman (Jordan) in 1994. ICOM-Arab was formally established the following year with 8 national committees as the core group, and the election of the Egyptian delegate as its president. The organisation's second congress was held in Tunisia in conjunction with a workshop on illicit traffic. Another meeting was held in Aswan (Egypt). A new Board was elected during the General Conference of 2001.

Despite financial problems, the group was able to produce five editions of its Arab Museums Newsletter which serves as a forum of debate regarding the needs of museum professionals in the region.

Ms. Annabi was pleased to report on the successful meeting organized by the Organisation on February 1st of 2002 with the aid of ICOM and UNESCO. She thought that the meeting succeeded in giving a new élan to the regional organisation, with participation not only by the UNESCO Asst. Director General for Culture but also by a high-ranking representative of ALECSO (the Arab League Educational Cultural and Scientific Organization). The delegates to this meeting set out the following activities as their priorities: creation of a website with a view to promoting Arab museums; publication of '100 Missing Objects' in three languages (English, French and Arabic); normalization of inventories for Arab museums; publication of a directory of Arab museum professionals.

She hoped that a protocol partnership agreement between ICOM and ALECSO would be approved soon.

In conclusion, she wished to refer to the present emergency situation involving cultural edifices in the Palestinian territory. She said that she felt reassured that such edifices, essentially mosques, (for example, the Basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem) are considered veritable museums in themselves. She also referred to small museums in different areas that had been restored and maintained by the Palestinians to help preserve their traditions and to remind them of their identity. This patrimony belongs not only to them; it also represents a part of humanity's collective memory and forms part of the world's cultural heritage.

Comments arising from this intervention

Itzhak Brenner (Israel) wished to record his protest at the last statement of the delegate of ICOM Arab, stating that it was inappropriate. The Chair noted this comment.

Y. Herreman (Vice President) informed those present of her recent mission to Damascus (Syria) and stressed the important role of museums and tourism in the Arab region.

11.b. ICOM-ASPAC

A Galla, Chair of ICOM-ASPAC, gave an overview of recent activities in the region stating that a number of partnerships had been launched during the General Conference of 2001, the most important of which was links with the ASEMUS programme (Asia-Europe Museum Network) supported by the Asia-Europe Foundation based in Singapore. He said that ICOM-ASPAC would be launching its website by the end of June 2002 and that it was presently working on establishing a regional secretariat for a more efficient management of its activities.

He mentioned that the Code of Ethics and the efforts to promote cultural tourism by the World Tourism Organisation are welcome. However in the promotion of eco-tourism, he urged members to be sensitive to the concerns of the Working Group on World's Indigenous Populations. In the context of eco-tourism, which is largely nature-based tourism and which uses indigenous people and minority groups, it is perceived that the latter have very little control over the infrastructure and resources. ICOM should ensure that the custodians of indigenous knowledge systems are able to participate in cultural tourism and eco-tourism.

Mr. Galla took the opportunity to seek the endorsement of the Advisory Committee to revive the Working Group on Cross Cultural Issues which aims to assist ICOM with developing policy statements relating to cultural diversity issues and responses to UNESCO's new initiative on a Global Alliance for Cultural Diversity. He proposed that the group, whose findings had been endorsed by the Executive Council in 1997, be renamed the Cross Cultural Task Force of ICOM and that its major proposals be updated and incorporated into ICOM's Strategic Plan. This proposal was approved by the Advisory.

11.c. ICOM-Europe

J. Breinegaard (Denmark) who has acted as Coordinator for ICOM Europe (together with a small working group composed of representatives from Greece, Romania and Hungary) reported on actions undertaken to revive the Regional Organization. He reported on the drafting of its Internal Rules, for which he would seek approval from the Executive Council. He said that copies of the draft Rules had been sent to the Chairpersons of 49 National Committees of the region and said that at a meeting held the day before with 23 participants, a few amendments to the draft document had been submitted and approved. He described the procedures that the Group intended to follow through in order for it to be in line with the Statutes.

He called for nominees for a new Board of 7 members with the expectation that an elected Board would be convened in Spring 2003. He hoped that a programme of activities could be set up at the same time.


12. SEPARATE MEETINGS OF NATIONAL COMMITTEES / REGIONAL ORGANISATIONS AND INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEES / AFFILIATED ASSOCIATIONS

12.a National Committees and Regional Organisations

Rick West (AAM/ICOM) and Hector Rivero Borrell (Mexico) were selected as Chairman and Rapporteur respectively. The revised agenda for the meeting was adopted.

The Group approved the nominations for the following Committees:

  • Nominations Committee: Ossama El Meguid (Egypt), Maria Laura Tomea (Italy); Mohammed Saley Tim (Niger)
  • Finance & Resources Standing Committee : Asghar Fazel (Iran)
  • Legal Affairs & Properties Standing Committee: Rick West (AAM/ICOM) and Lorenz Homberger (Switzerland)
  • ICOM 2004 Working Group: Michel van Praët (France)

They heard the intervention of E. Zell, Membership Officer, who informed them of the recent revision of administrative documents in the light of decisions taken by the General Conference the year before. These documents (Manual of Administrative Procedures, For More Information, Membership Fee Policy, Welcome Brochure) had been sent to the newly-elected officers but were also available for those present. The Officer reported on the research that had been done by the Secretariat on a projected members on-line Directory, highlighting the legal and security implications such a project entailed. She stressed that the planned on-line Directory was part of the Strategic Plan and had been conceived as a membership benefit. She informed those present that the names of the chairs and secretaries of ICOM's component bodies (national and international committees, affiliated organizations, regional organizations) were now incorporated onto ICOM's website and regularly updated.

The group reviewed the Strategic Plan; most members noted that in general the structure and activities were useful for their own committees.

Y. Herreman (Vice President) representing G. Edson, presented a report of the Task Force on National Committees. She regretted the late start of the Task Force but indicated that the group had fruitful sessions during this Advisory: defining their goals and time table of activities. She added that a survey of National Committees would be the first activity of the Task Force.

The group heard Mr. Byung-mo Kim (Korea, ICOM 2004) who explained the theme of the 2004 General Conference: Museums and Intangible Heritage. Total support was given by the members present to the conference theme and stated that it should be the same theme for International Museums Day 2004.

With regard to recommendations for future meetings of the Advisory, it was suggested that meetings should deal with substantive rather than with purely administrative matters. It was also recommended that meetings be organized so that there would be a maximum exchange of ideas among members (i.e. smaller groups). Suggested themes for future discussion groups : UNIDROIT, Tourism & Museums, the Role of Museums in Facing the Global Problem of Aids/HIV.

Further it was suggested that ICOM publications be distributed in a more formal systematic manner to ensure that copies are sent to the libraries/documentation centres of National Committees.

12.b International Committees and Affiliated Associations

Albert Scheffers (ICOMON) and Paal Mork (MPR) were elected respectively as the Chairman and Rapporteur of the group. The draft agenda was adopted.

The Group approved the nominations for the following Committees:

  • Nominations Committee: Diana Pardue (ICAMT), Ben Koevoets (IATM), Gerhard Winter (NATHIST)
  • Finance & Resources Standing Committee: David Grattan (ICOM CC).
  • Legal Affairs & Properties Standing Committee: Hildegard Vieregg (ICOFOM)
  • ICOM 2004 Working Group: Per Rekdal (ICME)

In their review of the Strategic Action Plan, a member (N. Hushion, INTERCOM) asked for more issue-based discussions during the Advisory meetings. It was requested that the acceptance of student memberships be accelerated (P. Boylan, ICTOP). Some also requested that the turn-around of membership registration be held to a maximum of two months.

Questions that arose during the discussion on an on-line membership directory were later answered very satisfactorily by E. Zell, Membership Officer, during her intervention. Questions about the registration of International Committees and Affiliated Associations in the dot-museum domain (F. Delval, AVICOM) were answered by C. Karp. The latter stated that committees and associations would each have a page from ICOM to serve as brief presentations; later they would be free to develop more comprehensive solutions but noted that ICOM could not maintain these indefinitely.

R. Hoffmann (ICR) commented on the difficulties that members from remote areas encountered in attending meetings. He recommended a system of annual meetings that would move around the world (this would also apply to international committees). He suggested that regional coordinators be nominated whose task would be to supply information regarding their regions.

M. Schaerer (Coordinator, Task Force on International Committees and Affiliated Associations), gave a progress report on the work of the Task Force. He informed them of proposals being prepared by the ICTF in terms of greater autonomy for International Committees, of fostering a plurality of solutions to the problems of committees, of the need for a flexible approach to the establishment, evaluation and dissolution of international committees, of the need for the creation of a framework agreement with ICOM to establish precise basic rules for these processes; finally, he spoke of the proposal for the establishment of a new Standing Committee on International Committees which would report to the Executive Council, through the Advisory Committee.

Members proposed a new membership system where members would be registered in only one international committee with one corresponding vote. However interested members could receive information from other committees but these committees could charge a fee for this service.

Members expressed their concern at the financial liability of the International Committees, indicating that it would be better for committees to establish a framework agreement rather than a "contract" with ICOM.

The representatives of CECA and ICME pointed out that an advice list for Chairs and Treasurers would be a welcome tool; this matter must be solved by the new Standing Committees on Finance and Legal Affairs.

The group warmly welcomed the 2004 Conference theme "Museums and Intangible Heritage" as presented by Byung-mo Kim (Korea) and proposed that this also be the theme for the 2004 International Museums Day. A good catchy slogan should be found.

The ASPAC delegate suggested that Advisory meetings be held in venues other than Paris.

The ICMAH representative expressed his Committee's disapproval of the proposed International Committee on City Museums. M. Schaerer pointed out that no new committees would be established before the new framework for committees was operational.

Due to time limits, the group could not formulate recommendations for future meetings of the Advisory. Instead it was suggested that a working group be established; this group, consisting of the Chairs and Rapporteurs of the Separate Meetings, should come up with recommendations.

Comments Arising from the Separate Meetings of the Committees

The Chair reminded those present that the institution of separate meetings was a fairly recent innovation and was conceived as a parallel and integrated way of working. The mechanism of electing the Chairs and Rapporteurs however may have to be looked at in the future.

Members later recommended that separate meetings should continue and that the current Chairs and Rapporteurs of the separate meetings should remain in place until 2004, at which time they should identify new candidates for these roles. Both Chairs agreed to serve until 2004; however, the Rapporteurs both indicated that they could not continue to serve beyond the current meeting so new candidates would therefore have to be identified.

It was also recommended that the Chairs, Rapporteurs and Vice Chairperson of the Advisory Committee, could all serve as an informal working group to assist the Chairperson in developing the programme and agenda for future Advisory Committee meetings. These proposals were welcomed by the Chair.

With regards to the Nominations Committee, the Chair reviewed the names of the Committee members and noted that Günther Dembski (Vice Chair, Advisory) had been identified to represent the Chairperson of the Advisory, Eloisa Zell to represent the Secretariat. The Presidents of ICOM LAC and ICOM ASPAC were to be approached to help identify suitable candidates from those regions. It was also recommended that the Chairperson of the Ethics Committee be invited to serve in an ex-officio capacity on the Committee. This Committee would have a brief initial meeting before the close of the Advisory Committee meeting.


13. REPORT OF THE TASK FORCES ON NATIONAL COMMITTEES / REGIONAL ORGANISATIONS AND ON INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEES / AFFILIATED ASSOCIATIONS

13.a. Task Force on National Committees/Regional Organisations (NCTF)

Y. Herreman (Vice President), representing G. Edson, gave a brief report on the Task Force. She stressed the communication problems that had plagued the Task Force but noted the fruitful meetings that members were able to have during this Advisory. She reviewed its main tasks which were: firstly to investigate and make recommendations on the role and responsibilities of national committees, secondly to review connections with regional organizations, and thirdly to review relationships with national museum associations. She said that letters would be written to its members inviting them anew to serve on the Task Force but emphasizing the inability of ICOM to defray any expenses incurred with their involvement. She informed those present that E. Zell, Membership Officer at the Secretariat, had been co-opted as a member of the Task Force.

She stated that the group's future work would concentrate on areas such as a survey of national committees and criteria to be set in the acceptance of student members. She called for the urgent need to cooperate and work with the ICTF on certain mutual issues.

13.b. Task Force on International Committees/Affiliated Associations (ICTF)

M. Schaerer reported on the work done so far by this Task Force. He recalled the Terms of Reference for the group which called firstly for the investigation of the role and responsibilities of International Committees and to make concrete recommendations thereon; and secondly for the review of closer connections with the Affiliated Associations that most closely relate to the character of the committees.

He was pleased to report on the excellence of the group's membership who conducted intense discussions via email and who had a full-day meeting the previous weekend. These discussions centred on general issues of reform, on the mission of international committees as well as on their creation, evaluation and eventual dissolution, on membership structure and on their legal and financial aspects.

The group planned to continue working in this manner until December 2001 after which they will have a final report (that would include concrete propositions) for submission to the Advisory in June 2003.

Its provisional recommendations were: to grant more autonomy to the International Committees (retaining the benefits of being an ICOM body but combining these with the advantages of being an Affiliated Association); to foster a plurality of solutions; to foster a demand-oriented liberal approach in the establishment of new committees; to formulate precise criteria for framework agreements between committees and ICOM. Finally the group proposed to establish a new Standing Committee for International Committees that would report to the Executive through the Advisory; this committee would discuss relevant issues and would assist and give advice to those committees in need of such aid.

Comments arising from the reports of the Task Forces

D. Castro (Colombia) asked about the 'plurality of solutions' and the problem of communication between National Committees and International Committees.

M. Schaerer saw the need for a dialogue between the two Task Forces and regretted its inability to meet during the present Advisory. He stated that international committees were disparate in size, organization, membership and historical background and felt that a plurality of solutions would be the most viable proposal.

R. West (AAM/ICOM) thought that one way of strengthening the national committees was to enhance its substantiveness, that a genuine engagement with regard to the work of the two organs is necessary to make them stronger.

Y. Herreman reiterated the need for the two groups to have a joint meeting to help strengthen each other's work.


14. GENERAL CONFERENCES

14.a Final Report on ICOM 2001

Rafael Feria y Perez (Spain) presented the final report on the results of the ICOM 2001 General Conference. He reviewed the historical background of the triennial, the various activities undertaken and results thereon and noted the important personalities who graced the opening and closing ceremonies. He said that the conference theme on 'managing change' (approved by the Executive) proved to be of great interest to museums, community and the media. He was very satisfied with the audience turnout during the four keynote speeches that dealt on museum management and administration. A new feature of the Conference called 'Open Tribunes' (that involved the presence of specialists from different fields of interest) generated wide-spread interest and audiences from outside the museum world. Parallel sessions served as fora of debate; one session was organised by the World Federation of Friends of Museums.

The meetings of the International Committees proved to be the most complex part and had to be adjusted to the general dynamic of the conference. However he was pleased to report that joint meetings of committees were organised during the conference and this was seen as very positive. The Market of Ideas was successful due to the important contribution of the Associació de Museolegos of Catalunya and the Conference Volunteers Team. The Trade Fair was an important challenge that aimed to broaden the relationship between institutions and service companies. A communications centre consisting of 35 personal computers with Internet connections was freely available at the Congress Centre for the delegates on a permanent basis; photocopying machines were also installed for the use of the Conference participants. Social gatherings were memorable. However the dense programme of excursions proved not to be a good idea.

The attendance reached a total of 2096 participants from five continents; this was supplemented by 112 guests, 'accounting VIPS and organisation technical staff'.

While R. Feria offered a generally positive evaluation he noted that in retrospect the intense programme of discussions had placed an even greater burden of expectation on the organizers to successfully meet the heavy demands for registration.

In closing, he was proud to inform the Advisory that the Organising Committee was very honoured to have been awarded a special prize from the Associació Catalana de Critica d'Art (ACCA) recognizing their excellent work in the organization of the Conference.

The Chairperson responded to thank him and the members of the organising committee for having been such excellent hosts in Barcelona, as well as offering them congratulations for the award they had received in recognition of their work.

14.b Findings from the Questionnaire on the 2001 Conference

The Secretary General reviewed the results of the questionnaire on the conference stating that the document was mailed twice to the respondents (Advisory Committee members). 349 copies of the questionnaire were sent out; 39 responses were received by the Secretariat. This represented a return of 11.5%. He averred that while the findings could not be definitive because of the relatively small sampling achieved, there were some interesting perspectives to be gained from these responses. Some comments included: no warning about crime in Barcelona; difficulties in registration, unavailability of accommodations that allowed pet dogs; happiness with conference facilities, unhappiness with timetables; need for a central meaningful theme for plenary sessions and specific themes for international committees; the value of the concurrent sessions; the successful market of ideas.

He noted that the results were largely found in favour of the Barcelona conference, which was considered a success despite communication and logistical problems experienced by some international committees.

The Chair thought that the questionnaire was a useful exercise and hoped to see the information in a tabular format provided to the members .

D. Grattan (ICOM-CC) stated that in all fairness to the Organising Committee, it should be recalled to members that security problems in the city are listed in all tourist guidebooks.

D. Castro (Colombia) thought it was important to get information on the practical and conceptual results, e.g. how did the theme help in the work of the Conference; how did the delegates use the experience back in their own countries/committees?

P. Mork (MPR) said that the questionnaire should have been sent to all conference delegates to get their own experiences and comments.

The Chair replied that the time element was important, that data needed to be quantified in time for these meetings; it was considered to have questionnaires in the delegates' packets at future conferences.

P. Stanbury (UMAC) said it would be valuable to have the questionnaire and the results on ICOM's website.

P. Donahue (CIMUSET) said that his committee was fortunate in having an on-site liaison officer.

P. Boylan (ICTOP) noted that there were evaluation reports from previous conferences and hoped that these would be made available to future organizers. He also said that perhaps a group of professionals should help the Organising Committee in the development of the conference scientific programme.

B. Murphy (Vice-President) called members' attention to a serious problem that she thought must be grappled with, i.e. the enormous volume of work and tasks that are thrust onto a host committee of a general conference without due reference to availability of resources and/or feasibility. She thought that extreme financial pressures and demands on a host organisation could be tremendous and wondered where and how this would end. She said that a limit with regard to demands on and requests to the Organising Committee must be recommended and concluded that she will refer this concern of hers to the Executive.

In conclusion, members were generally very appreciative of the survey and recommended its expansion to all participants at the 2004 meeting.

14.c Report of the Organising Committee of ICOM'2004

Byung-mo Kim of the ICOM'2004 Organising Committee provided the members with the latest update of the plans for the General Conference in Seoul. He firstly thanked the participants for having approved the conference theme. He was optimistic of hosting a meaningful conference with the highest attendance ever as important delegations from Japan and China are expected for the conference (Japan for one has well over 3000 museums).

He said that brochures inviting pre-registration are now being circulated to members. This brochure, currently available only in English, will soon be translated into French and Spanish and distributed.

Mr. Kim explained the traditional basis of the conference logo, 'Sot-dae' in Korean, which consisted of a totem pole and birds seated on a tree. This totem pole with the bird is popularly found among indigenous ethnic societies in North Asia. Various Altaic groups of languages are commonly spoken in the region. He explained their meaning, thus: the pole is a holy tree under which a man prays his wish. Then the birds convey the man's wish to the almighty god in the heaven; The 'Sot-dae' is erected normally on the 15th of January in every leap year according to the lunar calendar.

He noted that some preparatory work was progressing more slowly than anticipated due to FIFA 'fever' and to election activities now taking place in his country. Some final negotiations were being delayed until the new government was in place, after which the Committee could then secure the final budget and official support required.

He regretted that results have not been produced with regards to participation from North Korea, and will therefore request Council's assistance on this matter.

Mr. Kim reminded members of the Conference dates and site: October 2 (Saturday) to 8 (Friday) 2004 at the COEX Convention Centre in Seoul. The Centre has state-of-the-art facilities and equipment and it is conveniently linked to the subway. With regard to accommodations, the Committee planned to have a 'home-stay programme' in place for delegates who wished to avail of low-priced rooms. 'Temple stay' may also be available.

He hoped that during the conference a Seoul Declaration would be officially launched that would create a momentum and bring Asia's museums to the attention of the world and bring the local populace as well to appreciate museums and cultural heritage.

14. d Review of Candidatures for ICOM'2007

Two formal proposals for the hosting of the ICOM'2007 General Conference were circulated for consideration and review by the members present.

14. d (1) ICOM Sweden and ICOM Denmark (combined)

J. Breinegaard (Denmark) and M. Widbom (Sweden) presented this combined proposal. The proposed theme would be 'Bridging Cultures'; the proposed dates would either be the first week of May or the first week of October in 2007 and would be held in the cities of Copenhagen (Denmark) and Malmö (Sweden). With this conference they hoped to focus on the social role of museums as an arena that gets across ignorance and different cultural backgrounds, stressing their responsibility to work towards cultural understanding i.e. to build bridges across prejudices and ignorance about different cultures and religions. They affirmed having received assurances from the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) for major financial support to enable them to give grants to ICOM members from developing countries.

14. d (2) ICOM Austria

G. Dembski and A. Wehdorn (Austria) gave the presentation for Vienna as a possible conference site. Mr. Dembski firstly thanked H. Kraütler (former Committee Secretary) who had the initiative to propose Austria to host the 2007 conference. The last week of August was the proposed date. Vienna, a friendly city, has more than 400 museums and the convention centre is located in the centre of the city. Central Europe is also ideally situated for participants coming from all over the world. Cheap accommodations, including student hostels, will be available. The Ministry of Culture has promised assistance for a successful conference.

Video presentations on the suitability of both Austria and the Oresund Region as host sites were shown.

Comments on the Proposals

Members sought clarification on a number of points particularly on: the budgeted costs and the accuracy on registration fees projections; the ease of transportation between sites and cities; the concepts and themes; guaranteed provisions for local contacts (whether academic or museum personnel); the level of support for participation from developing countries.

G. Dembski (Austria) informed members that university rooms would be available for the delegates. He was optimistic that 3000 delegates would attend as Vienna is a very central site; he also said that with important banks as conference sponsors he was confident that the projected registration fee would suffice. He informed members of some professional contacts between Austria and North Africa in the matter of archaeology (Tunisia and Egypt) but averred that he did not know of contacts with Central Africa; this however would be a challenge to the committee. Their motto would be learning to understand. He said that the Ministry of Culture had guaranteed support for a conference in Vienna.

J. Breinegaard (Denmark) explained that the first two days of plenary sessions would be in the central area of Copenhagen and that the later meetings (international committees, etc.) would be held in other easily accessible museums. The last day of plenary and closing ceremonies would be held in Malmö. He stated that their draft budget was comparable to that of Barcelona, but noted that it was still only a draft budget that will be further developed as soon as financial assistance from sponsors and the Ministries of Culture had been evaluated.

M. Widbom (Sweden) said that their combined proposal was a new concept in that it focussed on a region and not on a city. He stated that transportation connections would progress and should be even better in 2007. Visas for the two countries would be issued to participants upon arrival at the airport.

In conclusion, members were informed that evaluation missions would be carried out to the various countries to ensure their readiness to host the general conference.

15. OTHER MATTERS

  1. On the theme of the International Museum Day for 2003 (Museums and Friends), it was noted that it had been decided to have a broad interpretation of the idea of 'Friends'. It was suggested that future themes should continue with such a practice: have a general umbrella concept and develop sub-themes. It was noted that the Secretariat always prepared an information kit that is diffused in ICOM News.

  2. The theme of the International Museum Day for 2004 was adopted: Museums and Intangible Heritage.

  3. The President of ICOM informed the members of the composition of the two Standing Committees of the Executive Council:

    • Finance & Resources: George Abungu (Kenya), Luiz Antonio Bolcato (Brazil), Michäel Dauskardt (Open-Air Museums, Germany), Asghar Fazel (Iran), Llewellyn Gill (MAC, St. Lucia), David Grattan (Conservation, Canada), Nancy Hushion (INTERCOM, Canada), Pauline Kruseman (The Netherlands), Siam Kim Lim (Singapore), Peggy Loar (USA), Piet Pouw (The Netherlands), Fernando Riba (Switzerland), and Camila Gonzalez Gou ( Treasurer, ex-officio).

    • Legal Affairs & Properties: Patrick Boylan (ICTOP, UK), Trevor Carmichael (Barbados), Milagro Gomez de Blavia (Venezuela), Lorenz Homberger (Switzerland), John MacAvity (INTERCOM, Canada), Marilyn Phelan (USA), Luis Repetto (ICOM LAC, Peru), Bernard Schotter (France), Samuel Sidibe (Mali), W. Richard West (USA), Hildegard Vieregg (ICOFOM, Germany).

  4. ICOM Croatia reported on their activity entitled 'Best in Heritage', explaining the concept and outlining the programme for their upcoming September meeting in Dubrovnik. She explained that this project was sponsored by ICOM and financed by their Ministry of Culture and that it would help celebrate the UN Year for Cultural Heritage. Its basic idea was to present the best projects in heritage. She urged everyone to participate at the meetings, emphasizing the need for professionals' presence. Information on the programme was available on the Internet.

  5. The Latvian National Committee of ICOM formally presented the Secretariat with three copies of their newly-printed publication, Museum Basics, in Latvian. On behalf of her colleagues, the National Committee Chair offered thanks in having received ICOM's assistance in establishing this means of self-education and hoped to continue this sort of work with the assistance of ICOM.

  6. The Egyptian National Committee delegate informed members of the 100th anniversary plans for Nov 19-21st, 2002, during which they would commemorate the establishment of the Cairo Museum with an international symposium on Egyptology. He invited all members to participate. The delegate of ICOM Arab also offered her organization's support to this activity and urged members to take advantage of this opportunity when the Arab museum would open their arms in welcome to their colleagues from around the world.

  7. She reported that the members of the Nominations Committee had met and had selected Knut Wik (Norway) to be their Chairman.

  8. J. Breinegaard (Denmark) asked about the issuance of ICOM cards to members of IATM. The Membership Officer clarified the special agreement between the two organisations as the basis for this special benefit.

  9. On behalf of the members of the Advisory Committee, Alissandra Cummins thanked both the Swedish Cultural Centre and National Committee, as well as the Musée de la Marine for their generosity in having hosted the Advisory Committee to two very nice receptions.

  10. She also wished to note the recent retirement of a colleague, Lyndel Prott, who often represented the Director General of UNESCO in the meetings of the Advisory and Executive. She took the occasion to express her thanks for Mrs. Prott's collaboration with ICOM's activities and to congratulate her on a successful career.

16. CLOSING REMARKS

The Chair of the Advisory also thanked members of the Secretariat for all their work and support, not least Manus Brinkman and Valérie Jullien for the special underwater session and the three speakers who contributed much to members' understanding of the Convention; Eloisa Zell and Thomas Jandia for the preparations and logistical support during the meeting. The interpreters were also thanked for their help in communications; Gunther Dembski was lauded for his support during the chairing of the meeting as were the other chairs and rapporteurs of the separate sessions; and the members for their active and enthusiastic participation through the entire three days of meetings.


17. DATE AND PLACE OF THE 64th SESSION OF THE ADVISORY COMMITTEE

2-4 June 2003, Room XI, UNESCO Building, 7 Place de Fontenoy, 75007 Paris (France).


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

 
 
   
Updated: 7 June 2005