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E-newsletter November 2014
© Palace Museum

Learning in Museums: Educators benefit from another ICOM-ITC workshop

From 27 October to 4 November, 2014, 36 participants from 21 countries participated in a workshop organised by the ICOM International Training Centre for Museum Studies (ICOM-ITC). The topic Learning in Museums was at the centre of the 10-day workshop.

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Another productive meeting of ICOM’s International Observatory on Illicit Traffic in Cultural Goods

The fourth meeting of the Editorial and Consulting Committees of ICOM’s International Observatory on Illicit Traffic in Cultural Goods was held at the ICOM General Secretariat in Paris, France on 13 and 14 November. Over these two days of discussions, presentations and working sessions, inside information on the sensitive situation in Syria was shared, and new technical sheets on best practices were drawn up, which will be added to the website of the Observatory.

Launched in January 2013, the Observatory was conceived at the initiative of ICOM and with the financial support of the Prevention of and Fight against Crime Programme of the European Commission’s Directorate-General Home Affairs. It is the fruit of ICOM’s long-term involvement in the fight against illicit traffic in cultural property, and serves as a permanent international cooperative platform and network between international organisations, law enforcement agencies, research institutions and other external expert stakeholders. As noted by Marc-André Haldimann, mediterranean archaeology expert at the Swiss Federal Office of Culture and associated researcher in Bern University, who also attended the meeting, the Observatory “is an essential information exchange platform for experts, facilitating the elaboration of new solutions.” The main objective of this platform is to build an extensive information databank for the network and the public through its website and to publish a Global Report in 2015, the first of its kind, presenting a range of case studies, statistics, analyses and reference articles.

For more information:

Photo: Meeting of the ICOM International Observatory on Illicit Traffic in Cultural Goods in Paris

ICOM President Hans-Martin Hinz in Lviv for ICOM Ukraine's annual meeting

ICOM President, Prof. Dr Hans-Martin Hinz, attended the annual meeting of ICOM Ukraine on November 14 and 15 in Lviv at the Museum of Ethnography and Applied Arts of Institute of Ethnology of the National Academy of Science of Ukraine. The conference focused on the theme: 1914-2014: from the war of empires to the dialogue of cultures and gathered Ukrainian scientists, museum managers and politicians. Different themes such as The cultural heritage of the border areas: ethnicity and social responsibility or Actuality of value of war monuments for society and politics were discussed during the meeting.

In his opening speech, Prof. Dr Hinz opened discussion on the conference theme, in the year of the World War I centennial, declaring that: “looking back over times of sudden and sometimes stressful social change, it is notable how often public cultural policy has reacted by supporting museums in order to strengthen their role in enabling people to reflect on the many strands that make up the past, and to imagine a positive future. […] We can perceive in this short outline that political aspirations and the progress of museums are inevitably closely connected in the development of nation-states around the world today.” He also participated in a panel discussion on Cultural heritage: shared responsibility on the role of museums, public and governmental institutions in creating shared responsibility for cultural heritage, along with two other speakers: Dr. Volodymyr V’atrovych, Director of the Ukrainian Institute of National Memory and Dr. Vasyl Rozhko, Head of the Museum Department of the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine.

Prof. Dr Hinz was interviewed during his stay, by the Lviv Channel 2 (HTA). The entire 40-minute interview can be found here in two parts:

Time to start preparing for International Museum Day 2015!

Join us in celebrating International Museum Day on 18 May, 2015 around the theme Museums for a sustainable society. This theme is a common concern throughout the world, and ICOM President Prof. Dr Hans-Martin Hinz, defines the museum’s role in sustainable development as:

"Museums, as educators and cultural mediators, are adopting an increasingly vital role in contributing to the definition and implementation of sustainable development and practices. […] We must do everything we can to ensure that museums are part of the cultural driving force for the sustainable development of the world."

If you are already preparing International Museum Day for 2015, ICOM is keen on providing inspiration for your activities and events to make the day unforgettable. The Kit for Museums helps you define your objectives and gives examples of activities that target different publics.

You can also find the official poster and banner in your language. Check here to see if your ICOM National Committee has already created one. If not, you can contact them to propose a translation, and keep an eye on the "Poster" page of our website!
Check the IMD website for updated information:

Running a museum is ten years old

The ICOM/UNESCO Practical Handbook was first published in English in 2004. It provides an overview of all aspects of modern museum management and is celebrating its ten years in helping museum professionals. In the early 2000’s, the need was felt to create a reference document providing guidance for more in-depth study of particular aspects and giving entry-level professionals an understanding in the basic aspects of running a museum. Each chapter of the handbook tackles practical guidelines and entry points for discussion on various aspects of museum management, such as "Caring for the visitor" or "Museum security, including disaster preparedness". The main text is accompanied by supplementary information that includes technical data and standards, suggestions for practical exercises, and discussion topics for training and other uses. As Alissandra Cummins, former ICOM President, wrote in her foreword, “this publication is another example of ICOM’s direct response to the need to provide professional training and practical advice wherever it is needed. […]Today one of the organisation’s stated objectives remains to advance ‘the sharing of professional knowledge and museum practice internationally through mutual assistance,’ while at the same time actively encouraging new models for collaboration. ICOM’s key mission after establishing professional and ethical standards for museum activities is the promotion of training, and the advancement of knowledge.”

The ICOM/UNESCO Practical Handbook can be downloaded in English, French, Arabic, Spanish, Russian and Chinese.

ICOM General Director travels to the 84th ICCROM Council in Rome

Earlier this month, Prof. Dr Anne-Catherine Robert-Hauglustaine attended the 84th Council of the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) in Rome, Italy. She called for a continued and constructive collaboration between ICOM and ICCROM, following the statement of cooperation signed in June between the two institutions “to establish a partnership of excellence to ensure a better collaboration and training of museum professionals.”

ICCROM, an intergovernmental organisation representing 133 member states, is dedicated to the conservation of cultural heritage, with its main areas of activity focusing on training, information, research, cooperation and advocacy.

The collaboration will involve ICOM’s National and International Committees and the ICOM Secretariat in “shar[ing] and enrich[ing] mutual expertise” and “encourag[ing] and promot[ing] international cooperation.” The ICOM Code of Ethics for Museums is one of main tools promoted through this important partnership.

Hits of the month

Check out Facebook and Twitter for the most popular posts this month !

Also on the Internet….

Museum and Politics Conference: Impressions of the participants.
September 2014, Russia.


A few words from museum directors and specialists during CIMAM 2014.
November 2014, Qatar.

As you may have noticed, it has been one year since the format of the ICOM e-newsletter has changed and become accessible for everyone through the ICOM website. Thank you for embracing this change, we have been pleased to receive your encouragement along the way. We will continue evolving and you will see the changes over the coming months. We hope you will like them! If there is a feature that you particularly want to see, or if you have suggestions about certain contents, we would love to hear them!

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