The International Council of Museums (ICOM) is the world organisation of museums and museum professionals.
View this email in your browser

E-newsletter March 2014
© ICOM Ukraine - A storage room of the National Historical Museum of Ukraine, Kiev, the morning of 19 February, 2014

The Blue Shield’s Statement on Ukraine

On 27 February, the Blue Shield published a statement to raise awareness about the importance of protecting Ukraine’s cultural and historical heritage in the context of the current crisis in the country. Some of Ukraine’s museums have suffered damage during the last few weeks, including the Kiev History Museum, which was looted on the nights of 18 and 19 February. However, the damage is not limited to museums, as other cultural buildings and institutions such as Ukrainian churches, monasteries and monuments are also in danger of looting and destruction, especially those linked to the political history of the country.
The Blue Shield is therefore deeply concerned and is urging the local government to protect Ukraine’s cultural and historical legacy. The Blue Shield has welcomed the recent creation of a Blue Shield National Committee for Ukraine, which is working tirelessly to limit the looting of Ukraine’s heritage. Through its statement, the Blue Shield’s aim is to remind the international community of its obligation to protect cultural heritage in times of armed conflict. Read More

ICOM President speaks at Heritage First! in Athens

Heritage First! Towards a Common Approach for a Sustainable Europe, a conference organised by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports, was held from 6-8 March in Athens, Greece. The conference stressed the importance of cultural heritage to sustainable economic and social development, encouraging interaction among the international heritage community in order to identify common directions for future policy and action.

ICOM President Prof. Dr Hans-Martin Hinz took part in the conference, giving a speech at the Acropolis Museum on Cultural heritage at the heart of sustainability: The urban dimension - Partnerships in urban development. Prof. Dr Hinz discussed how museums can contribute to the development and revitalisation of cities, giving the examples of Berlin and other European cities where museums have played a key role in urban development over the last few decades. He also pointed out that "museums' impact on urban development is not new; they were already a factor in cities’ development, long before mass tourism arrived.”

According to Prof. Dr Hinz, culture is a strong driver of development and museums contribute to the revitalisation of urban areas not only through the buildings themselves, but also through the new approaches that they offer their visitors. Due to the financial crisis, however, some governments are not providing the support museums need. The President argued that this is not the path to economic and social recovery, affirming that "politics should stabilise museums in order to keep them fit for the challenges of the 21st century."


AVICOM FIAMP.2014 festival

The 2014 edition of AVICOM’s* FIAMP (International Audiovisual Festival on Museums and Heritage) will take place from 15-20 September in Moscow, Russia, hosted and co-organised by ICOM Russia. FIAMP is an international professional competition that aims to promote the production and distribution of audiovisual and multimedia products. It is held in a different country each year in conjunction with AVICOM’s annual meeting.
Applications for the competition are currently being accepted for museums, heritage institutions and technology professionals who have produced cultural productions and programmes for museums. FIAMP prizes will be awarded in multiple categories, including the AVICOM Grand Prize, renamed in honour of the founder of AVICOM, Nicole-Claude Hocquard.
Read More


The Musée de Maroc Telecom pays tribute to retired female phone operators

 The Musée de Maroc Telecom (the Telecommunication Museum of Morocco), Morocco’s first technical museum, allows its visitors to discover the history of the country through different moments in the development of the telecommunications sector. The museum stands out in the way it presents its collections to create a unique educational experience. Most of the machines and equipment exhibited are still functional, even the oldest items, and visitors are free to try them with help from the museum staff.
On 8 March, 2014, as part of International Women’s Day, the Musée de Maroc Telecom celebrated the key role its female phone operators had played in the history of Moroccan telecommunications. Presenting to more than 40 students from a school in Rabat, the retired operators hosted guided tours about manual phone communication systems. Functioning phone switchboards exhibited at the museum were used to demonstrate the manual practice that these operators had once performed.

This event provided a unique way to teach children about the importance of safeguarding this aspect of national cultural heritage and highlighted the vital role women have played in telephone communication for decades.
For more information

© Musée de Maroc Telecom

International Museum Day 2014

 On 18 May, 2014, the worldwide museum community will celebrate International Museum Day (IMD), focusing on the theme Museum collections make connections. A Google Map showing 2014 IMD activities organised all over the world can be found on the event’s website along with detailed information about IMD, including this year’s poster, postcard and web banner in English, French, Spanish and many other languages. You will also find all of the tools necessary to organise your own IMD activity programme in the How to prepare your International Museum Day 2014 communications kit, which is also available on the IMD website. ICOM is counting on your participation to make this participatory and fun event a success all over the world. Take a look at the IMD website to find out how you can get involved.


Call for Papers for Museum International Vol 64 No 3-4

Following completion of the first issue of Museum International under ICOM’s aegis on the theme of Achievements and challenges in the Brazilian museum landscape, to be available at the end of April, ICOM is preparing a second double issue on the theme of International Museum Day 2014, Museum collections make connections. The issue will be prepared under the editorial direction of the board of the ICOM International Committee for Collecting (COMCOL) with Léontine Meijer-van Mensch as Editor in Chief. All proposals submitted will be assessed for suitability and subsequent articles will go through a peer review process. The issue is expected to be published, in collaboration with Wiley Blackwell, by September 2014.


This issue on the theme Museum collections make connections is based on three assumptions.

The first assumption is that in an increasingly digitised world, objects and collections are more relevant than ever. Museums have quickly been able to seize the communication and interpreting opportunities offered by new media and have broken away from the old-fashioned image they once had, but the core of their activities is a focus on objects. By collecting and displaying their collections, museums keep the relationship between a community and its history alive. They are spaces for dialogue between generations.

The second assumption is that collections are a means not an end, raising the basic question: which collections and for what purpose?

The third assumption is that in order to create bonds between visitors, generations and cultures around the world, museums need to ensure that their collections are dynamic. As the British Museums Association stated in its Collections for the future report (2005): “All users would benefit if museums shared their collections more widely, as well as collaborating on collections management and collecting”. Sharing collections and experience among museums is a good way to improve comprehension and emphasise intercultural exchanges. Partnerships with other structures, cultural or not, can also contribute to the museum’s mission.

The purpose of this issue is to explore and reflect upon these assumptions for different types of museum collections in different parts of the world.

Submission process:

Abstracts of between 250 and 300 words, written in English, should be submitted for selection to

Contributions will be on a voluntary basis.
The submission deadline is 7 April, 2014.

The following information should be included with the abstract:

• Title of submitted paper

• Name(s) of author(s)

• Professional background

Further information:

For further information on the content of the issue, please contact Léontine Meijer-van Mensch at For all other queries, please contact ICOM Secretariat at

Publications: Portuguese edition of Key Concepts of Museology

DESVALLÉES, André and MAIRESSE, François (eds.). Conceitos-chave de museologia / Bruno Brulon Soares and Marília Xavier Cury (trans.). São Paulo, Brazil: Comitê Brasileiro do Conselho Internacional de Museus, Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, Secretaria de Estado da Cultura, 2013. 98 p. ISBN 978-85-8256-025-9.

Already available in eight languages, the Portuguese version of the Key Concepts of Museology was published on 27 February, 2014 by the Brazilian National Committee with the support of the São Paulo State Secretariat for Culture, the Sistema Estadual de Museus (SISEM-SP) and the São Paulo State Art Gallery. The publication was translated by Bruno Brulon Soares and Marília Xavier Cury, both members of ICOFOM (ICOM’s International Committee for Museology) with help from ICOM Portugal members and other Portuguese colleagues, including Marta Lourenço, Graça Filipe and Paula Menino Homem. Developed by ICOFOM, Key Concepts provides the definition and evolution of 21 museology terms and concepts. The digital edition of the Portuguese version is available on the ICOM website.

Publications: Magazine of the Musée de la Civilisation in Canada

THEMA. La revue des Musées de la civilisation / Les musées de la civilisation.

As part of its goal to highlight the importance of ongoing reflection on museum practices Les Musées de la civilisation (MCQ) have recently launched their new journal, THEMA, La revue des Musées de la civilisation. International, multilingual and currently available online, THEMA examines original and thought-provoking topics in an interdisciplinary way. As a forum for reflection on society and culture, the journal encourages collective inquiry and a diversity of viewpoints and experiences relative to museum practice. It features original articles inspired by the interests and concerns of Les Musées de la civilisation. The first issue of THEMA will bring together authors from Quebec, Canada, UK, Australia, Switzerland and Spain, and focus on the theme: Knowledge sharing and exchange in times of cultural democracy. For more information

Copyright © 2014 ICOM, All rights reserved. Unsubscribe from this e-newsletter
Check the e-newsletter archives