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E-newsletter April 2014
© ICOM 128th session of the ICOM Executive Council, April 2014

Launch of ICOM’s International Observatory on Illicit Traffic in Cultural Goods

ICOM’s International Observatory on Illicit Traffic in Cultural Goods officially launched its website during the 128th session of the ICOM Executive Council held in Paris, France, on 4 and 5 April, 2014. Following ICOM’s longstanding involvement in the fight against illicit traffic in cultural property, the Observatory aims to create a permanent international cooperative platform and network between international organisations, law enforcement agencies, research institutions and other external expert stakeholders. The recently published website is the core of the project, acting as a databank for all information related to illicit trafficking of cultural goods. It will centralise and disseminate various resources and instruments relating to illicit traffic in cultural goods, providing important tools to fight it.

Now available to the public at, this website marks an important stage in the initial triennial phase of the Observatory project, which began in January 2013 under ICOM’s initiative. The project is financially supported by the Prevention of and Fight against Crime Programme of the European Commission’s Directorate-General Home Affairs. In 2015 a triennial Global Report will be published, presenting a range of case studies, statistics, analyses and reference articles from the website.

Second training workshop of the ICOM International Training Centre in Beijing

After a first successful training workshop held in November 2013, ICOM International Training Centre for Museum Studies (ICOM-ITC) is holding a second training at the Palace Museum in Beijing, China from 22 to 29 April, 2014. The workshop’s 15 Chinese participants and 14 international ones are currently in the middle of an exciting 8-day programme on the theme “Museum Collections Make Connections,” which corresponds to the theme of International Museum Day 2014. Their travel was funded jointly by ICOM, ICOM China and the Palace Museum.

Over the course of these 8 days, several international experts are giving lectures and conducting discussions on topics such as Collection Strategies, Security and Collections, Preventive Conservation and Risk Management as well as the Ethics of Collecting. The two Chinese speakers, in their turn, focused on the case study of the Palace Museum and gave a national survey of movable cultural relics. Guided tours and hands-on sessions in local museums provided insight into museum work in China, offering face-to-face exchange with Chinese curators.

Officially launched on 1 July 2013, ICOM-ITC takes advantage of ICOM’s professional network to offer quality training programmes in museum studies to regional and international museum professionals, especially to ICOM members from emerging countries and the Asia-Pacific region. ICOM-ITC’s next training workshop is planned for October/November 2014.


ICOM to co-publish Museum International

Museum International, an academic journal which has been published since 1948 by UNESCO in collaboration with the English co-publisher Wiley-Blackwell, is a forum for the international exchange of scientific and technical information on museums and cultural heritage. After UNESCO’s decision to cease publishing the journal in 2011 due to financial constraints, ICOM has taken over the reins as co-publisher and will be publishing its first issue in May 2014.

ICOM will carry on the journal’s approach of sharing interdisciplinary research and best practices for the safeguarding and protection of cultural heritage. In a first phase, Museum International will be published exclusively in English, but ICOM is seeking partners to provide other language editions in the future.

Adriana Mortara, Vice-Chair of ICOM Brazil, is serving as Editor in Chief for the first issue of the journal under ICOM’s aegis, which will focus on the theme of Brazilian museums following the 2013 ICOM General Conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The second issue, set to be published this August, will examine the 2014 International Museum Day theme Museum Collections make Connections with Léontine Meijer-Van Mensch, Chair of COMCOL, as Editor in Chief. Both issues will be produced under the direction of acting Editorial Boards.

After the completion of these first two transition issues, a new Editorial Board approved by ICOM’s Executive Council will be put in place and Prof. Dr. Tereza Scheiner will assume the role of Editor in Chief of the journal, with Aedín Mac Devitt as Managing Editor. The board will discuss and choose themes, authors and a panel of peer reviewers. Read More

HERE AFRICA, Contemporary Africa as seen through the Eyes of its Artists

 Located in the heart of Geneva, the Château de Penthes is host to Le Musée des Suisses dans le Monde (Museum of the Swiss Abroad), an institution devoted to Swiss nationals who left their homeland and contributed to the development of other countries, creating strong bonds between Switzerland and the rest of the world. One of the museum’s aims is to organise temporary exhibitions on social issues, and it is in that spirit that Le Musée des Suisses dans le Monde will present the exhibition HERE AFRICA, Contemporary Africa as seen through the Eyes of its Artists this year.
Here Africa, a contemporary art exhibition organised in collaboration with ART of The World will take place from 8 May to 6 July. Here Africa will allow its visitors to discover a group of 40 works carried out by more than 25 significant African artists. Whether they live in Africa or not, the artists chosen for the exhibition have contributed to the renewal of the contemporary art scene on the African continent. Through their work, which includes pictures, videos, installations, sculptures and drawings, these engaged artists evoke subjects that they deem relevant to contemporary Africa, such as slavery, immigration, climate change, water and food, health, human rights, gender equality and education.
For more information

Photo: Salas Anexas (Formadores técnicos) (Attached Rooms (Technical trainers)), 2011. © Filipe Branquinho, Courtesy Galerie MAGNIN-A, Paris

ICOM News 2014: Call for contributions

ICOM is pleased to launch a call for contributions for the next two issues of ICOM News. The magazine is available through the ICOM website and is distributed to ICOM’s 30,000 members and subscribers around the world. It is an effective platform for sharing case studies, new ideas 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 focusing on a specific theme pertinent to contemporary museum work.

In the July 2014 issue the Special Report theme will be Museum financing, the Best Practices section will focus on Travelling exhibitions and the In Focus theme will be Museum collections make connections. The December 2014 issue will explore The visitor experience in its Special Report, Visitor research methods in Best Practices and Museums for a sustainable society in its In Focus section.

Please submit proposals related to these topics to

Publications: Projet d’exposition : guide des bonnes pratiques (The Exhibition Project: A Guide to Best Practices)

Published on the occasion of the last SimeSitem event in Paris, a trade fair and conference for museum professionals and service providers, the guide Projet d’exposition : guide des bonnes pratiques (The Exhibition Project: A Guide of Best Practices) provides tips on how to enhance the organisation, conception and management of exhibition projects. The guide, which is written in French, deals with issues such as production chains, placement of orders and contracts. As exhibition projects become increasingly complex in spite of reduced budgets, the guide’s main purpose is to offer methodologies that facilitate the task of exhibition managers.

The guide contains a preface by Aurélie Filippetti, Minister of Culture and Communication (France), and is supported by ICOM France, the French Federation of Local Public Enterprises (EPL) and the French Association of Scenographers. The guide can be downloaded free of charge on the EPL website

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