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1946-1998 ICOM Chronology

  • 1946
    The International Council of Museums is founded in November of this year in Paris, at the initiative of Chauncey J. Hamlin (United States), who becomes the first President of the Organization. The Documentation Centre is placed by UNESCO under the responsibility of ICOM and the direction of Yvonne Oddon. It becomes the UNESCO/ICOM Documentation Centre--the only resource centre for museums of all fields existing in the world. The centre provides information, orientation, and research services to museum professionals, researchers, UNESCO and its Member States. Publication of the first issue of the periodical ICOM News/Nouvelles de l'ICOM.

  • 1947
    An agreement is signed between UNESCO and ICOM on 2 October establishing the ways and means of co-operation between the two organizations. First Interim Conference of ICOM in Mexico City, Mexico 7- 14 November.

  • 1948
    First General Conference in Paris, 28 June to 3 July. Museologists from fifty-three countries attend. Twelve specialized committees are created. Georges Henri Rivière is named Director of ICOM. First Meeting of the International Commission for Cleaning and Restoration of Paintings, London, United Kingdom, 13-15 December. Technical and legal study on exchanges and deposits between museums, carried out by Professor A. Leroi- Gourhan. It is the starting point for preparatory work requested by UNESCO, which culminates in 1976 in the adoption, by the 19th Session of the General Conference of UNESCO in Nairobi, of the Recommendation Concerning the International Exchange of Cultural Property.

  • 1949
    Second meeting of the International Committee for the Care of Paintings held in Rome, Italy, from 12 to 15 December, under the chairmanship of Professor Cesare Brandi.

  • 1950
    First conference of the International Committee of ICOM for Museum Techniques in Stockholm, Sweden, 3-8 May. Second General Conference in London, United Kingdom, 17- 22 July, attended by members from thirty-one countries and five continents. Main scientific instruments; museum and education; problems of professional training. Creation of international committees for laboratories and documentation.

  • 1951
    Meeting of the ICOM Commission on Racial Questions, a subcommittee of the International Committee on Museums of Ethnography and Folklore, on 9 June, in Paris, under the chairmanship of Dr. G. W. Locher. Crusade for Museums organized by UNESCO and ICOM: this campaign marks the beginning, on an international scale, of public awareness of the educational role of museums. Public information activities follow, leading to the institution in 1977 of an International Museums Day (18 May), celebrated every year in many countries.

  • 1952
    International Seminar in Brooklyn, New York on the role of museums in education, 14 September to 12 October, organized by UNESCO in co-operation with ICOM. Publication of Museums and Young People, by G. Cart, M. Harrison, and C. Russell, under the auspices of the ICOM Committee for Education and the ICOM Committee for Children.

  • 1953
    Third General Conference in Genoa, Milano, Bergamo, Italy, 6-12 July. Georges Salles (France) succeeding Chauncey J. Hamlin, becomes the second President of ICOM. Twenty- four countries are represented at the conference. Ten specialized committees discuss, among other themes: museum architecture and museums in modern city planning; museums and scientific and technical progress; natural history museums and protection of nature; museums and international understanding; modern art museums at the service of living art. Conference of museums of archaeology and history, Naples, July. Main themes: museums and international understanding; international regulations in regard to archaeological excavations.

  • 1954
    International Conference on "Local Museums and Cultural Development Outside Large Centres' at the Schaffhouse Museum, Switzerland, 7-9 July. International seminar on the role of museums in education in Athens, Greece, 12 September to 10 October. Organized by UNESCO in co-operation with ICOM.

  • 1955
    Publication, with the help of UNESCO, of Type Specimen in Botany and Zoology. Recommendations for their Conservation in Natural History and General Museums, by W.E. Swinton.

  • 1956
    Fourth General Conference, Basel, Zurich, Schaffhouse, Neuchâtel, and Geneva, Switzerland, with members from thirty-five countries attending. Main themes: the natural history museum in the modern world; the problem of history museums in our times; modern installations and museum techniques. Conference on problems of museums in the Near East, in Damas, Syrian Arab Republic, 23-27 October. The purpose of this meeting was the development of co-operation between museums in this region. First international museums campaign.

  • 1957
    Meeting of the ICOM Commission for International Art Exhibitions on 2 July, at the Musée du Louvre. In order to facilitate exchanges of exhibits, the commission decides to make a customs label for works of art. This measure is carried out in the framework of the Florence Agreement on the importation of educational, scientific, and cultural materials adopted by the fifith session of the General Conference of UNESCO in July 1950. The customs services of the Member States of the Customs Co- operation Council recognize the validity of this label. ICOM meeting on open-air museums in Denmark and Sweden, 5-9 July; guidelines on the aims and organization of this type of museum are adopted by the participants from twenty-four countries.

  • 1958
    Symposium on museums, film and television, organized under the auspices of UNESCO in Brussels, Belgium, 8-11 July. Publication of a handbook on this subject. Regional seminar on the role of museums in education, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 7-30 September, organized by UNESCO in co-operation with ICOM. After a survey, ICOM prepares a study on "international regulations on the most effective means of rendering museums accessible to everyone" for UNESCO, which becomes a recommendation in 1960. This is one of the first efforts to foster adoption by UNESCO of measures encouraging a more democratic participation in culture by the public, leading to the "Recommendation on Participation by the People at Large in Cultural Life and their Contribution to It", adopted in 1976 by the General Conference of UNESCO at its nineteenth session.

  • 1959
    Fifth General Conference in Stockholm, Sweden, 1-8 July. Sir Philip Hendy (United Kingdom) becomes the third President of ICOM, following Mr. Georges Salles. Thirty countries are represented; nine International Committees hold working meetings. Main themes discussed: exchanges between museums and international art exhibits; survey of the museum profession; advice for the establishment of museums of science and technology; the role of ethnographic museums as an instrument for research. Founding, on 1 March 1959, at the initiative of UNESCO and ICOM, of the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (now called ICCROM) in Rome: an intergovernmental institution which will become one of the principal partners of UNESCO and ICOM in this field. Founding of the Museums Association of Tropical Africa, associated with ICOM.

  • 1960
    ICOM co-operates with UNESCO in launching the international campaign to save the monuments of Nubia. Regional seminar on the museum as a cultural centre in the development of the community, Tokyo, Japan, 3-30 September, organized by UNESCO in co-operation with ICOM. International meeting on regional and specialized museums in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, 18-30 September.

  • 1961
    International meeting of ICOM on museum architecture in Turin, Genoa, and Milan, Italy, 23-27 May.

  • 1962
    Symposium on the problems of museums in countries undergoing rapid change, in Neuchâtel, 17-25 June. Publication of the proceedings as a handbook. Sixth General Conference, The Hague, The Netherlands, 2- 11 July, with participants from twenty-two countries. Main items studied: protection methods against theft of art works; problems pertaining specifically to the conservation of cultural property in tropical and subtropical countries; the role of museums of history and folklore in a changing world; the functions of museums--research centres as show places?

  • 1963
    Meeting of an international committee of experts to study the measures to be taken to promote bilateral exchanges of cultural property, on 3 July at the Musée des Arts et Traditions Populaires, Paris. Joint meeting of the Committee for the Care of Paintings and the Committee for Scientific Museum Laboratories, in Leningrad and Moscow, 16-23 September.

  • 1964
    Regional seminar on the "Role of Museums in Contemporary Africa", at Jos, Nigeria, 24 August to 18 September, organized by UNESCO in co-operation with ICOM. The Jos seminar tries to answer, for Africa, the questions raised during the symposium at Neuchâtel (see above). Participation in the Freedom from Hunger Campaign. National Committees of ICOM organize exhibitions devoted to the fight against hunger. International Symposium on the Educational and Cultural Role of Museums, Paris, 23-27 November.

  • 1965
    Creation of the ICOM Foundation with the purpose of providing financial means to enlarge the scope of members activities, on 15 June. Sixth General Conference in Washington, Philadelphia, and New York, United States, 16 September to 3 October. For the first time, an overall working theme is adopted: "Training of Museum Personnel". Dr. Arthur van Schendel, Director of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, succeeds Sir Philip Hendy and becomes the fourth President of ICOM. Georges Henri Rivière leaves the directorship of ICOM to become Permanent Advisor; Hugues de Varine-Bohan (France) who was Assistant Director since 1962, becomes the Director of ICOM.

  • 1966
    Seventh Regional Seminar on "The Role of Museums in the Community", in New Delhi, India, from 31 January to 28 February, organized by UNESCO in co-operation with ICOM. It is envisaged to create an ICOM Regional Agency in Asia. Symposium on the conservation of wooden objects in museums organized in Dakar, Senegal, 18-23 April, by the Museums Association of Tropical Africa (AMAT/MATA) and ICOM.

  • 1967
    Meeting of experts on urgent ethnology: co-ordinated development of museums and scientific research, held in Baghdad, Iraq, 1-6 April, organized by the ICOM Committee for Ethnography Museums. Creation of the ICOM Regional Agency for South and South-East Asia. Dr. Grace Morley is named head of the agency. The Committees for Scientific Museum Laboratories and for the Care of Paintings are merged to become the ICOM Committee for Conservation, in Brussels, Belgium, during their joint meeting from 6 to 13 September. Launching of the second International Museums Campaign on 1 October. Meeting of a group of experts on the training of museum personnel in Europe in Brno, Czechoslovakia, marking the first effort to have museology recognized as a scientific discipline in universities.

  • 1968
    Meeting of the Committee for Education and Cultural Action, in Leningrad and Moscow, USSR, 14-21 May, on the theme: "Education and Cultural Tasks of Museums". Eighth General Conference, in Cologne and Munich, Federal Republic of Germany, 29 July to 9 August, with participants from sixty-five countries, on the theme: "Museums and Research". International symposium on museums and their new public, in Krakow, Poland, 18-24 September, the main purpose of which is to define the concept of "new museum public" in different social systems and cultural backgrounds. Symposium on museum architecture organized by ICOM with the participation of the International Union of Architects (UIA), at Mexico City, Mexico, 8-14 December.

  • 1969
    Pilot project of training seminars for young curators and museum assistants organized by ICOM for three French- speaking countries: France, Belgium, and Switzerland, in Brussels, Paris, and Neuchâtel, January, February, and November. Publication of the first issue of Annual--Museums, Education and Cultural Action which will later become ICOM Education. Publication of the first volume of the International Museological Bibliography. International Round Table on "The Role of Museums in the World of Today", organized by UNESCO in co-operation with ICOM in Paris, 24-28 December.

  • 1970
    Meeting of a committee of experts named by the Executive Council of ICOM to study the ethics of acqusition for museums, in Paris, France, 8-10 April. The committee decides to adopt a professional code of ethics in the field of acquisitions. In October of the same year, the General Conference of UNESCO, during its sixteenth session, adopts the text of the International Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export, and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property.

  • 1971
    Ninth General Conference of ICOM in Paris and Grenoble, France, from 20 August to 10 September, on the theme: "Museums in the Service of Man Today and Tomorrow-- The Educational and Cultural Role of Museums". Fifty countries are represented. Dr. Jan Jelinek (Czechoslovakia) succeeds Mr. A. van Schendel and becomes fifth President of ICOM.

  • 1972
    Round Table on the importance and development of museums in the contemporary world, organized by UNESCO in co-operation with ICOM, in Santiago, Chile, 20- 31 May. International symposium on the problems of security in museums, at Saint-Maximin, France, 28 May to 1 June. ICOM decides to publish a handbook on security. One hundred and forty-five societies of Friends of Museums meet at the First Congress of Friends of the World"s Museums in Barcelona, Spain, 19-23 June. International symposium on "Museums and Environment", at the initiative of the French Ministry for the Environment and the French National Committee of ICOM, in Bordeaux, Istres, and Lourmarin, France, 25-30 September. A museum should strive to achieve complete symbiosis with the community it serves. A new type of museum, with a specific relationship to the environment is described, which will be called an "ecomuseum". Symposium on the role of museums in continuing adult education for the development of South-East Asian countries is held in Malacca, Malaysia, 12-13 December.

  • 1973
    Establishment of ICOM Guidelines for Loans by the working party on insurance, created in 1971. These guidelines are adopted in 1974 by the committee of experts convened by UNESCO to study insurance and other forms of coverage of risks to works of art.

  • 1974
    Publication of a handbook of national legislations on the protection of cultural property, the culmination of efforts pursued since 1970 to denounce illicit trade in cultural property and to encourage museums to oppose such trade by disseminating information on national legislations governing the protection of cultural heritage. ICOM prepares, for UNESCO, a study on the technical, legal, and administrative aspects of an international instrument on the exchange of original objects and specimens among institutions in different countries. This study is the basis of discussions between governmental experts entrusted with compiling the Recommendation Concerning the International Exchange of Cultural Property, adopted in Paris by the General Conference of UNESCO at its nineteenth session, 1976. Tenth General Conference of ICOM in Copenhagen, Denmark, 5-14 June. Theme: "The Museum and the Modern World". Sixty-two countries are represented. Luis Monreal (Spain), is nominated to the office of Secretary- General of ICOM, replacing Hugues de Varine-Bohan. The General Assembly adopts new statutes for ICOM. The structure adopted is more democratic, allowing a larger participation of ICOM members in the organization of its activities. The immediate result is a large increase in membership.

  • 1975
    Fourth Triennial Conference of the Committee for Conservation in Venice, Italy, 13-17 October, with more than 400 participants. Papers presented at this meeting appear for the first time as preprints, in three volumes. Seminar on the training of museum technicians in Barcelona, Spain, 20-24 October.

  • 1976
    Creation of the International Committee of ICOM for Public Relations, on 25 June. Two international committees study the necessity for cultural decentralization: in Bologna, Italy, 7-11 June, the International Committee for Museums and Collections of Modern Art discusses "Centralization/Decentralization/Noncentralization", and in Umeå, Skelefteå, and Vilhelmina, Sweden, from 11 to 19 September, the International Committee for Education and Cultural Action studies "The Roles of the Museum in a Decentralized Cultural Policy". Meeting of Experts on "Modern Methods of Inventory of Movable Cultural Property", organized by UNESCO in co- operation with ICOM, in Barcelona, Spain, 4-8 October. The nineteenth session of the General Conference of UNESCO, convening in October at Nairobi, Kenya, proposes the creation of an International Documentation centre, through co-ordination with the UNESCO/ICOM and the UNESCO/ICOMOS documentation centres. ICOM requests two experts to study the implementation of this project. First Regional General Assembly of National Asian Committees at Tehran, Iran, 13-18 November. International conference of experts on museum storage, organized by ICOM and UNESCO, under the auspices of the American National Committee of ICOM, and the ICOM Committee of the American Association of Museums (AAM/ICOM), in Washington, United States, 13-16 December.

  • 1977
    Eleventh General Conference, in Leningrad and Moscow, USSR, 18-29 May, on the theme: "Museums and Cultural Exchanges". More than 1,500 participants from ninety- nine countries attend. Mr. Hubert Landais (France), succeeds Dr. Jan Jelinek, and becomes the sixth President of ICOM. Two international committees are created: the Committee for Museology and the Committee for Literature Museums. Among the resolutions adopted are: The International Museums Day, on 18 May, to be celebrated each year; the creation of an ad hoc committee for the restitution or return of cultural property to the country of origin; the decision to produce a Treatise on Museology. Several international committees publish the results of their work: International Directory of Musical Instrument Collections, by the International Committee for Museums and Collections of Musical Instruments; Museum Public Relations: Results of a Survey, by the International Committee for Museum Public Relations; Museum Security, by the International Committee for Museum Security. At the request of UNESCO, the Ad hoc Committee of ICOM prepares a Study on the Principles, Conditions and Means for the Restitution or Return of Cultural Property in View of Reconstituting Dispersed Heritages. Organization of the twelfth UNESCO travelling exhibition: "The Arts of Latin America". Regional symposium on traditional, rural, and tribal cultures in Asia, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, 10-20 December, organized by the National Museums of Sri Lanka, with the collaboration of UNESCO and ICOM. Starting in 1977, ICOM, at the request of UNESCO, undertakes projects for technical assistance to museums, and collaborates on the establishment or renovation of numerous museums in several countries.

  • 1978
    First issue of ICOM Press in January. First General Assembly of the Organization for Museums, Monuments and Sites of Africa (OMMSA), to constitute this organization which ICOM helped to create , in Nairobi, Kenya, 8-14 January. Following its policy to promote exchanges between museums, ICOM creates the Museum Exchange Programme (MUSEP). Janine Schotsmans replaces Dr. Grace Morley as Head of the ICOM Regional Agency in Asia on 1 October. Meeting of experts on the principal criteria for the planning of museums of science and technology in developing countries, in Manila, the Philippines, 11-15 December, organized by UNESCO in collaboration with ICOM.

  • 1979
    Publication in May of the first issue of the ICOM Asia Newsletter, by the ICOM Regional Agency in Asia. Following the recommendation adopted by the ninth General Conference of ICOM, museums carry out numerous activities to celebrate the International Year of the Child, among which are conferences of museums and children in Brussels, Belgium, 17-18 February, and Washington, United States, 28-31 October. Participation in the preparation of several UNESCO publications, in particular the issues of Museum for this year. Second Regional Assembly of the National Asian Committees of ICOM in Bangkok, Thailand, 10-15 December.

  • 1980
    Publication of the Spanish edition of the Museum Security Handbook. Twelfth General Conference, in Mexico City, Mexico, from 25 October: "The World's Heritage--The Museum's Responsibility".

  • 1981
    Preparation of two publications for UNESCO: Guidelines for the Collection of Traditional Musical Instruments and Les musées de site archéologique. At the request of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee, drafting of a Standard Form Concerning Requests for Return or Restitution of Cultural Property, and of Guidelines for the Use of the Standard Form. Publication of the Directory of African Museums. First meeting of the ICOM ad hoc committee for professional ethics with a view to drawing up a code of ethics. First international consultation of specialists on the study, documentation, and conservation of rock art, 3-5 September, Valcomonica, Italy.

  • 1982
    Preparation and publication of a study Museums: an Investment for Development, at the request of the International Fund for the Promotion of Culture, for the International Seminar on the Financing of Culture, 22-24 March, Madrid, Spain. Organization of an international conference on "Museum Planning: from Methodology to Reality", 28-30 June, Paris, France. Participation in the Second World Conference on Cultural Policies, July-August, Mexico City, Mexico. Third ICOM Asian Regional Assembly, 18-22 October, Seoul and Kyongju, Republic of Korea. Themes: "Museums and National Development" and "New Constructions and Rehabilitation of Old Buildings for Museum Use". Creation of a common data base for the UNESCO/ICOM and UNESCO/ICOMOS Documentation Centres.

  • 1983
    First meeting of ICOM National Committees in Africa, 21- 26 February, Niamey, Niger. ICOM report on the Niamey Centre for Training in Museology and Museography submitted to UNESCO. Thirteenth General Conference, 24 July to 2 August, London, United Kingdom. Theme: "Museums for a Developing World". Geoffrey Lewis (United Kingdom) succeeds Hubert Landais as seventh President of ICOM. Creation of a new regional body: ICOM Secretariat for Latin America and the Caribbean. Publication of the Directory of Asian Museums.

  • 1984
    Launching of a significant professional training programme in Egypt within the framework of UNESCO's International Campaign for the creation of the Nubia Museum, Aswan, and of the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Cairo. ICOM collaborates closely with UNESCO in promoting the latter's International Campaign for the Safeguarding of Moenjodaro. Publication of Museum Studies International, a directory of museum training programmes. The ICOM International Committee for Conservation adopts an important professional document: The Conservator-Restorer: A Definition of the Profession.

  • 1985
    Participation in a symposium on "The Legal Aspects of the International Art Trade" organized by the Faculty of Law of the University of Geneva, 11-13 April, Geneva, Switzerland. Regional seminar on "Public Oriented Museum Policies", 15-24 April, Djakarta, Indonesia. The ICOM International Committee for Museums and Collections of Musical Instruments (CIMCIM) adopts the Recommendation for Regulating the Access to Musical Instruments in Public Collections. ICOM submits to UNESCO a feasibility study for a national inventory of cultural objects in Mali. Patrick D. Cardon succeeds Luis Monreal as Secretary General. Participation of ICOM's International Committee for Education and Cultural Action (CECA) in a symposium on "Museums and Education" organized by UNESCO (July, Guadalajara, Mexico).

  • 1986
    UNESCO-ICOM seminar on "The Means of Integrating Museums into the Community in Asia", 28 January to 1 February, Seoul, Republic of Korea. Fourteenth General Conference, 26 October to 4 November, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Theme: "Museums and the Future of Our Heritage: Emergency Call". Adoption of the ICOM Code of Professional Ethics by the 15th General Assembly, 4 November, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Publication of Public View, a handbook prepared by ICOM's International Committee for Museum Public Relations, and of the Dictionarium Museologicum, a twenty-language glossary of museological terms, prepared by the International Committee for Documentation.

  • 1987
    From November 1986 to April 1987, ICOM, in collaboration with the Egyptian Antiquities Organization (EAO), organizes a training programme for the staff of the Nubia Museum in Aswan, and the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Cairo, Egypt, as part of UNESCO's International Campaign for the Establishment of the Nubia Museum in Aswan and the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization. UNESCO's Intergovernmental Committee for Promoting the Return of Cultural Property to its Countries of Origin or its Restitution in Case of Illicit Appropriation holds its fifth session in Paris, France, 27-30 April. ICOM and UNESCO work very closely in this field. First Regional Assembly of the Secretariat for Latin America and the Caribbean, in Guadalajara, Mexico, 17-22 August. Theme: "Training of Museum Personnel". Round Table on conservation-restoration of cultural property: "Current Research and Techniques", Paris, France, 15-16 October. Fields: easel paintings, polychrome, graphic arts, textiles, archaeological objects. First meeting of the 3rd Governing Board of ICOM, Regional Agency in Asia and the Pacific held in Tokyo, Japan, 25-29 October. Federico Mayor is elected as the 8th Director-General of UNESCO.

  • 1988
    First Conference of the International Congress of Maritime Museums is held in Sydney, Australia, 25-28 September. Workshop on "Science Museums Without Walls--Exhibits To Go", organized by the Indian National Council of Science Museums with the participation of UNESCO and ICOM, 5- 13 December, Delhi, Calcutta, and Bangalore, India. The UN General Assembly inaugurates the World Decade for Cultural Development. Four major objectives: acknowledging the cultural dimension in development, asserting and enhancing cultural identities, broadening participation in cultural life, promoting international and cultural participation.

  • 1989
    Fourth Regional Assembly of ICOM for Asia and the Pacific, in Beijing, China, 1-7 March. Six resolutions are adopted including the Necessity of Encouraging Personnel Exchanges in Museums of the Region, the Support of Professional Activities, and Museology and the Social Role of Museums in the Asia-Pacific Region. Implementation of the Swedish African Museum Programme (SAMP) initiated by the Swedish National Committee of ICOM in May. Proposals: exchanges of staff and of exhibitions, joint investigations in a specific subject area, information exchange, and help with working materials. 15th General Conference of ICOM in The Hague, The Netherlands, 27 August-6 September. Theme: "Museums: Generators of Culture". Six resolutions are adopted: Museums: Generators of Culture, the Training of Museum Personnel, Inclusion of the Spanish Language as a Working Language for ICOM Publications, Documentation and Information, Communication Between Museums, and Cultural Dimension of Development. Alpha Oumar Konaré (Mali) succeeds Geoffrey Lewis as 8th President of ICOM. The new Statutes focusing more attention on ICOM's regional activities and democratisation are adopted. Creation of the International Committee for Management (INTERCOM).

  • 1990
    ICOM News is published in 3 languages--English, French, Spanish--from the ICOM Asia-Pacific Organization in Calcutta, India. The long-standing promise of a Spanish edition of ICOM News is fulfilled. During the 71st session of the Executice Council in Paris, France, 5-6 july, an ethics Committee is created. It studies various problems related to professional ethics and decides to encourage translations of the ICOM Code of Professional Ethics guaranteeing ICOM's moral authority.

  • 1991
    For the first time in ICOM history, the Executive Council meets in an Asian country, Delhi and Calcutta, India, 3-9 March, to reinforce the importance of regional ties. Founding meeting of the new ICOM Committee for Audiovisual Media and NewImage and Sound Techniques, Paris, France, 5-7 June. During the seventy-third session of the ICOM Executive Council, in Paris, France, 10-11 June, decision to establish an ICOM Fund for Mutual Assistance in order that everyone who wishes to participate in the organization's work may have the opportunity to do so. UNESCO holds its Second International Round Table of Experts on the Preservation of the Angkor Monuments, in Paris, France, 8-11 September. ICOM pleges to act. ICOM Encounters in 3 African countries--Benin, Togo, Ghana--on the theme "What Museums for Africa? Heritage in the Future", 18-21 November. Workshops include the themes of management and financing, training and exchanges, museums and research, and museums as a tool for development. Adoption by the Executive Council of the Resolution on Current Political and Economic Changes and Disturbances in the World concerning the protection of cultural property in relation to current world political and economic changes. Elisabeth des Portes is appointed Secretary General by the Executive Council, replacing Patrick Cardon.

  • 1992
    Publication of the first Membership Directory, allowing easier communication between members. Publication of the proceedings of the ICOM encounters held in Benin, Ghana, and Togo, "What Museums for Africa? Heritage in the Future". Publication of Museums Without Barriers. A New Deal for Disabled People dealing with providing better facilities for disabled people. 16th ICOM General Conference in Quebec City, Canada, 19-26 September. Theme: "Museums: Rethinking the Boundaries?" Two resolutions are adopted: Rethinking the Boundaries and Preventing Threats to Cultural and Natural Heritage. Saroj Ghose (India) succeeds Alpha Oumar Konaré as the 9th President of ICOM. Following the encounter "What Museums for Africa? Heritage in the Future" held in 1991, a new programme is adopted for three years entitled the ICOM Programme for Africa (AFRICOM) with the objective to develop exchanges among professionals of Africa and abroad and to strengthen regional professional networks.

  • 1993
    ICOM adopts a new logo for the organization. International Museums Day: Museums and Indigenous Peoples, 18 May, to concur with the UN Year of Indigenous Peoples. Regional Workshop on illicit traffic of cultural property in Arusha, Tanzania, 28-29 September. ICOM, in coordination with UNESCO and Interpol, aims to strenghthen collaboration between museum professionals, the police and customs. The Arusha Appeal is launched for the fight against illicit traffic of cultural property in Africa. ICOM carries out a fact-finding mission to the Republic of Croatia, 9-29 October. 5th ASPAC's Regional Assembly in Sydney, Australia, 24- 27 September). Publication of Directory of Museums of the Asia-Pacific Countries by the ICOM Asia-Pacific Organisation. Publication of One Hundred Missing Objects: Looting in Angkor, the first in a series of books as part of ICOM's fight against the illicit traffic of cultural objects. Two months after the publication of Looting in Angkor, on 4 December, a Khmer sculpture that appeared in the book was found and returned to the Cambodian Embassy in Paris, France.

  • 1994
    A first-time meeting of Arab museum professionals is organized in cooperation with the Department of Antiquities of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, in Amman, Jordan, 26-30 April. Publication of the Directory of Museums in the Arab Countries and the first issue of The Arab Museums Newsletter. Regional Workshop on the Illicit Traffic of Cultural Property, Bamako, Mali, 12-14 October. Publication of Looting in Africa as part of the series One Hundred Missing Objects. ICOM/LAC 14th Annual Meeting in Cuenca, Ecuador.

  • 1995
    17th General Conference, 1-7 July, Stavanger, Norway. Theme: "Museums and Communities". Six resolutions are adopted: Museums and Communities, Protection of the Cultural Heritage during Armed Conflict, Conventions Regulating the Physical and Legal Security of Cultural Heritage, Museum Training and Global Awareness, Developments in Information Technologies, and Testing of Nuclear Weapons. Publication of the Study on Autonomy of Museums in Africa, under the AFRICOM Programme, May, 1995 and of Illicit Traffic of Cultural Property in Africa. Publication of a new serie, Study Series of ICOM International Committees. The first issue is dedicated to the Conservation Committee. Publication of Guide to Museum Administration in Europe. ICOM creates its home pages on the Internet and encourages museums to develop access and connection. Regional Workshop on the fight against illicit traffic of cultural property with UNESCO and ICOM's Regional Organization for Latin America and the Caribbean, September, in Cuenca, Ecuador. Enrollment for Professional Enrichment Programme (PEP): Meeting held in ICOM ASPAC's headquarters in Calcutta, India, dealing with computers in museum documentation, computers for desk top publication, production of CD-ROM and generation of short video programmes. Restitution of several objects published in Looting in Africa. Adoption of the second phase of the AFRICOM Programme, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 10-17 November.

  • 1996
    April : Creation of the International Committee of the Blue Shield (ICBS) by ICOM, IFLA, ICA and ICOMOS to respond to emergency situations that affect the heritage. An emergency mission was organised by ICOM and the Musée de l'Armée (France) in March, in order to provide the National Museum of Sarajevo with first necessity materials.
    May : International Museum Day on the theme «Collecting today for tomorrow».
    November & December : publication of the «Study Series» Nos. 2 and 3 devoted to the International Committee for Documentation (CIDOC) and International Committee for Education and Cultural Action (CECA). First meeting of the ICOM Regional Organisation for the Arab Countries (ICOM-ARAB) in Cairo (Egypt), on May 29th.
    June: 86th Session of the Executive Council in Paris. Third regional workshop on the fight against the illicit traffic in cultural property, in Kinshasa (DRC); and creation of the ICOM Regional Organisation for Central Africa (ICOMAC).
    September: Publication of the Handbook of Standards. Documenting African Collections, the result of four years of work of professionals from seven African museums in collaboration with the International Committee for Documentation (CIDOC).
    October: Publication of Illicit traffic of Cultural Property in Latin America.
    19 November: Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of ICOM at the Musée du Louvre in Paris. 55th session of the Advisory Committee and 87th session of the Executive Council in Paris.

  • 1997
    January: publication of a new edition of One Hundred Missing Objects. Looting in Angkor.
    18 May: 20th anniversary of the International Museum Day on the theme «Fighting the illicit traffic of cultural property» choosen for two consecutive years.
    June: 56th session of the Advisory Committee and 88th session of the Executive Council. Meetings in June and October of the International Committee of the Blue Shield (ICBS). June: publication of One Hundred Missing Objects. Looting in Africa (updated reprint). Meeting in Paris of the Ethics Committee.
    Publication of the Bibliography of ICOM Publications: 1946 - 1996. August: Fact-finding mission of the International Committee for Museum Security (ICMS) in Burundi, in the framework of ICOM solidarity with museums of Burundi.
    September: publication of an Arabic version of the Handbook of Standards. Documenting collections.
    October: Amsterdam, a workshop organised in the framework of the AFRICOM Programme, on the protection of the African heritage which convened museum professionals from Africa, Europe and the United States. One of the results of the workshop was the publication of « The Red List of ICOM » a list of African archaeological objects particulary prone to looting.
    25 November : Opening of the Nubia Museum in Aswan (Egypt) for which ICOM was in charge of the staff training programme.
    December : 89th session of the Executive Council and extraordinary session of the Advisory Committee in Paris. Publication of «Study Series» No. 4, dedicated to the work of the International Committee for Museum Security (ICMS).
    Return to their country of origin of several objects of the African heritage in June, November and December. 31 December : Elisabeth des Portes, Secretary General, leaves ICOM to be Director General of «L'Union des Fabricants».

  • 1998
    January : Publication of the third issue of the Series One Hundred Missing Objects entitled Looting in Latin America. Creation, at the initiative of the International Committee for Exhibition Exchange (ICEE) of a series entitled «Tools». The first issue published is Exhibition Budgeting. Publication of No. 5 of the « Study Series » under the scientific direction of the ICOM International Committee for Audiovisual and New Technologies (AVICOM) April: Summit of the Museums of the Americas on «Museums and Sustainable Communities», organised by AAM/ICOM, ICOM-Canada, ICOM-Costa Rica, ICOM-LAC and MAC. Thanks to the publication One Hundred Missing Objects. Looting in Latin America, stolen objects were found in France in returned in April to Colombia. May : Manus Brinkman is appointed Secreraty General of ICOM by the Executive Council. 18 May : International Museum Day on the theme «Fighting the Illicit traffic of Cultural Property». 90th session of the Executive Council of ICOM in Los Angeles organised in the framework of the American Association of Museums' (AAM) annual meeting. On this occasion a pannel session on Museum Ethics was presented. June: Regional workshop on the fight against illicit traffic in Hammamet, Tunisia and meeting of the ICOM-ARAB Regional organisation. September: meeting of the International Committee of the Blue Shield (ICBS) concerning the Afghan heritage. September: Publication of the History of ICOM, 1946-1996. October: 18th General Conference of ICOM in Melbourne, Australia from 9 to 16 October on the theme «Museums and Cultural Diversity. Ancient Cultures, New Worlds». Publication of issue No. 6 of the «Study Series» under the scientific direction of the International Committee for Regional Museums (ICR). By September, 1998, ICOM has more than 15,000 members, 116 National Committees, and 25 International Committees. The Secretariat is composed of 11 persons.

    Sources :
    Museums Vol. 32, No 3, 1980
    ICOM News
    Administrative Reports of ICOM


Updated: 11 July 2005