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E-newsletter October 2014

ICOM works to promote scientific culture

ICOM participated in a brainstorming workshop on promoting scientific, technical and industrial culture and enhancing the role of science centres in educating the public, and in particular women and young people. The workshop was organised by Universcience, ICOM and the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC), with support from UNESCO.

France Desmarais, Director of Programmes and Partnerships at ICOM, represented the organisation at the 2nd International Conference on Geoparks in Africa & Middle East in Dakar, Senegal on 9-10 October.
Organised in advance of the 15th Francophonie Summit, which will be held on 29-30 November in Dakar on the topic of women and young people, the conference served as preparation for the launch of an initiative to open geoparks in Senegal. The Global Network of National Geoparks promotes the development of scientific interpretation and mediation facilities around notable geological sites managed by local communities with an educational, economic and tourism objective.

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ICOM further confirms its commitment in Egypt

A fruitful meeting was held on 8 October, 2014 between ICOM President Prof. Dr Hans-Martin Hinz, ICOM Director General Prof. Dr Anne-Catherine Robert-Hauglustaine, Minister of Antiquities of Egypt H.E. Dr Mamdouh Mohamed Gad el-Damaty, and Ambassador of Egypt to UNESCO H.E. Dr. Mohamed Sameh Amr. The ICOM representatives reaffirmed the organisation’s continued efforts in assisting the Egyptian colleagues.

On the same day, Ms Robert-Hauglustaine spoke at the UNESCO conference on Three Egyptian Museums: The Museum of Islamic Art, the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization and the Greco-Roman Museum of Alexandria. Citing the international cooperation in favour of the Museum of Islamic Art, she presented ICOM’s various activities, including awareness-raising and preventive actions to support museums and museum professionals. She discussed ICOM’s three missions to Egypt thus far in 2014, and especially its assistance to the Museum of Islamic Art after the explosion that damaged the museum and its collections in January 2014.

“The first UNESCO-ICOM-ICBS mission allowed us to make a first-round assessment, generating a rapid response from the international heritage community. This mission also helped to determine the necessary measures to be taken, by all possible means.” She reported on the second mission in August 2014 in which ICOM coordinated international efforts carried out by experts from the Smithsonian Institution and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. “The experts observed the progress of the restauration work being conducted by their Egyptian colleagues and offered in-person training.” She emphasised the involvement of the international community, which was further confirmed during this mission. When Ms Robert-Hauglustaine travelled to Egypt in September with representatives of UNESCO, ICCROM and ARC-WH, she was herself able to witness the momentum of the restoration work and the international engagement in the project.

At the end of her speech, Ms Robert-Hauglustaine joined Ms Irina Bokova, Director General of UNESCO, in proposing that the resources and expertise acquired through the restoration efforts should be shared and the strong international involvement should continue. She called for more involvement of the international heritage community in renovating the Museum of Islamic Art in Cairo.

Photo: ICOM President and ICOM Director General in a meeting with the Minister of Antiquities of Egypt and the Ambassador of Egypt at UNESCO

ICOM supports the Museu da Maré in Rio de Janeiro, threatened by eviction

ICOM joins its different committees’ recent statements in supporting the “Museu da Maré resists!” movement.

The International Council of Museums (ICOM), in association with ICOM Brazil, ICOM South Africa, COMCOL (ICOM International Committee for Collecting), CAMOC (ICOM International Committee for the Collections and Activities of Museums of Cities), ICME (ICOM International Committee for Museums and Collections of Ethnography) and CECA (ICOM International Committee for Education and Cultural Action), expresses concern about the threat of eviction faced by the Museu da Maré in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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Photo: © Naldinho Lourenço

ICOM’s annual meeting season will soon come to a close

November marks the end of annual conference season for the ICOM network. The annual meeting of ICFA (International Committee for Museums and Collections of Fine Arts) will be held in Palermo from 2-7 November 2014 at the Museo Riso on the theme Old and new installations in fine arts museums. The annual conference of CIMAM (International Committee for Museums and Collections of Modern Art) will take place at the Mathaf (Arab Museum of Modern Art) in Doha on 9-11 November on the theme Museums in progress: public interest, private resources?

That same week, from 14-15 November, ICOM Ukraine will hold its annual conference at the Museum of Ethnography and Crafts in Lviv, bringing together international participants on the theme 1914-2014: From the war of empires to the dialogue of cultures. ICOFOM LAM, the Regional Subcommittee of Museology for Latin America and the Caribbean, will follow suit from 17-19 November with the 22nd ICOFOM-LAM meeting on new trends in Latin American museology in Buenos Aires, Argentina. ICMAH (International Committee for Museums and Collections of Archaeology and History) will hold its annual conference at MuCEM in Marseille, France from 24-27 November on the theme Slavery and the slave route: historical, archaeological and memorial sites. Finally, the annual meeting of COMCOL (International Committee for Collecting), will take place from 3-6 December 2014 on the topic of Collecting and collections in times of war or political and social change in Celje, Slovenia.

ICOM-CC Triennial Conference in Melbourne, September 2014

By Kristiane Strætkvern, Chair of ICOM-CC (International Council of Museums Committee for Conservation)

The 17th Triennial Conference of ICOM-CC on the theme Building strong cultures through conservation took place from 15-19 September in Melbourne, Australia. This event is our committee’s most important activity, gathering conservators, scientists, historians and art historians, curators, librarians, archivists, students, collection managers and directors to exchange news and discuss the field of conservation and collection care. Jointly organised by ICOM-CC and the Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation of the University of Melbourne and The Australian Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Material (AICCM), this year’s edition attracted 650 delegates from 50 different countries. Thanks to the generous support of The Getty Foundation, 15 participants received travel grants for cultural heritage professionals from developing countries and emerging economies, while four participants were part of the ICOM Young Member Travel Grant and 5 delegates from India were supported by the Indian Travel Grant.

Throughout the conference week, 150 papers presenting the latest research and practice in the field of conservation were delivered and 100 posters were displayed. These presentations introduced research, techniques and approaches in conservation and conservation science mirroring the aims and triennial programmes of ICOM-CC's 21 specialised working groups. The generous support of the Getty Conservation Institute has enabled us to publish a peer-reviewed Conference Preprints of these presentations.

As is the custom for our conferences, Wednesday was dedicated to plenary sessions and technical visits. The first plenary session included keynote speakers from Australia, the Philippines and Japan, who presented case histories of cultural heritage sites and artefacts that had been damaged by natural disasters, a growing problem in Oceania as well as in other parts of the world. The second session highlighted ICOM-CC’s work with the International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (IIC) regarding the development of global environmental standards for museums. A document to be presented the following week at the IIC conference in Hong Kong was discussed, and audience input was incorporated. The combined-effort document has been uploaded to the ICOM-CC and the IIC website, opening it up for further discussion with museum managers, architects and designers.

Photo © A.J. van Dam: Hans-Martin Hinz with the ICOM-CC board 2014-2017 [left to right] First row: Tannar Ruuben (Finland) - Treasurer; Kristiane Straetkvern (Denmark) - Chair; Hans-Martin Hinz (Germany) - ICOM President. Second row: Achal Pandya (India); Johanna Maria Theile (Chile) - Vice Chair; Kriste Sibul (Sweden) - Vice Chair. Third row: Jean Brown (UK); Luiz Souza (Brazil); Bill Wei (The Netherlands); Tiarna Doherty (USA).

ICOM News 2015: Call for contributions

ICOM is pleased to launch a call for contributions for the 2015 volume of ICOM News. Available through the ICOM website and distributed to ICOM’s 32,000 members and subscribers around the world, the magazine is an effective platform for sharing case studies, innovative practices and practical advice with a large audience of museum professionals. The publication is divided into In Focus, Best Practices and Special Report sections, among others, each devoted to a specific theme pertinent to contemporary museum work.

For the March/April 2015 issue, the Special Report theme will be Human rights museums, the Best Practices section will focus on Augmented reality and the In Focus theme will be Museums for a sustainable society. The deadline for proposals is 15 January, 2015.

The July 2015 issue will explore Museum architecture in its Special Report, Conservation techniques in Best Practices and Museums for a sustainable society in its In Focus section. Please send proposals for this issue by 1 April, 2015.

The December 2015 edition will be a double issue devoted entirely to the theme of ICOM’s 24th General Conference, Museums and Cultural Landscapes. Proposals for this issue should be submitted by 31 May, 2015.

Authors interested in contributing to the magazine on one of the above themes are invited to send abstracts of 200-300 words in English, French or Spanish to:

ICOM revives Museum International

ICOM is proud to announce the online publication of its first issue of Museum International, an academic journal that promotes the exchange of information about museums and cultural heritage on an international level. ICOM members can now benefit from free online access to the Museum International archives by following the link to the Wiley Online Library on the Museum International page of ICOMMUNITY.

This first issue focuses on the theme Achievements and Challenges in the Brazilian Museum Landscape. It includes 11 articles that explore Brazilian museums from a range of different disciplines and perspectives. In her editorial Adriana Mortara Almeida, the issue’s Editor in Chief, writes: “The content of the articles in this issue reveals the striking development in museum policies in Brazil and the initiatives to serve visitors better, by ensuring public participation in the design of museum proposals and improving communication processes and the quality of the services offered. The picture presented is positive and optimistic, although the articles also deal with challenges and obstacles that must be faced.”

ICOM’s second issue of the journal will be dedicated to the International Museum Day theme of 2014, Museum collections make connections, with COMCOL Chair Léontine Meijer-Van Mensch as its Editor in Chief. It is set to be published early next year.

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