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E-newsletter September 2014
Group photo of the UNESCO/ICOM/ICCROM/ARC-WH mission in front of NMEC

ICOM offers assistance to Egyptian museums and museum professionals

Continuing its fruitful collaboration with international organisations and museum professionals around the world to assist Egyptian museums, ICOM has recently carried out two successful missions in the country. From 4-9 September, 2014, ICOM Director General Prof. Dr Anne-Catherine Robert-Hauglustaine and ICOM Executive Council member Prof. Dr Regine Schulz, represented ICOM in a joint mission of UNESCO, ICOM, ICCROM and ARC-WH (Arab Regional Centre for World Heritage) in Cairo. Previously, from 4-8 August, 2014, ICOM Director of Programmes and Partnerships, Ms France Desmarais, also travelled to Cairo to take part in an international museum mission in favour of the Museum of Islamic Art, together with conservation experts from the Smithsonian Institution and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, USA.

Since the 2011 uprising, ICOM has been following the events in Egypt closely. In 2011, ICOM published an Emergency Red List of Egyptian Cultural Objects at Risk as a tool to disseminate information and raise public awareness on the fight against illicit trafficking of cultural objects. ICOM’s Disaster Relief Task Force (DRTF) also reported on the Institut d’Egypte, which was burned down in December 2011. ICOM will continue to “stand alongside Egypt in the challenges faced by cultural heritage in these times of transition [in the country] and where the protection of museum collections is fundamental,” said ICOM President Prof. Dr Hans-Martin Hinz, in a letter to Egyptian Minister of Antiquities H.E. Dr Mamdouh Mohamed Gad el-Damaty. Among other collaboration perspectives, ICOM’s upcoming triennial General Conference, to be held in Milan, Italy from 3-9 July, 2016 will be an excellent opportunity for Egyptian museums to showcase their interpretation of Museums and Cultural Landscapes.
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ICOM President receives Order of Merit

The President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Mr Joachim Gauck, has honoured ICOM President, Prof. Dr Hans-Martin Hinz with the presentation of the “Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany” (Verdienstkreuz am Bande des Verdienstordens der Bundesrepublik Deutschland). It is the highest tribute the Federal Republic of Germany can present to individuals for distinguished service to society and the nation.
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Museums and Politics, International ICOM Conference, September 2014 - Saint Petersburg and Yekaterinburg

By Katrin Hieke and Linda Norris

It is a tense time in many parts of the world and Russia is no exception. Despite concerns over events in the region, about 400 participants of 30 nationalities, including many from the hosting ICOM National Committees of Russia, Germany and the United States, came to attend the conference from 9-12 September. In his opening remarks, ICOM President Prof. Dr Hans-Martin Hinz spoke about the founding of ICOM in 1946, in “a world trying to repair our own devastation,” a motivation that remains “the living impulse for ICOM’s work.” It would be a failure, he said, if we did not cooperate or allowed ourselves to become overwhelmed by new political circumstances. There are different impassioned views on the conflict in Ukraine, he stated, but ICOM is pursuing our work without being pulled apart by nation states.

The conference took place at the State Hermitage Museum, which was an appropriate venue according to the museum’s director, Mikhail Piotrovski, as the Hermitage was founded 250 years ago as an imperial museum and has always understood and been involved with power. One special feature of this conference was its dynamic use of social media. A four member, tri-national team (Katrin Hieke, Linda Norris, Kristiane Janeke and Irina Chuvilova) encouraged worldwide discussion about the topic long before the conference began and reported directly from the event. Our result: more than 20,000 views of the project blog start page alone and wide sharing of tweets and Facebook posts—and of course, many unquantifiable conversations online and off. Check out our Storify feed or the conference blog itself for more in-depth reports.

Conference speakers from throughout the world addressed issues of politics and power in museums. They spoke about identity, about war and reparations, and about addressing hard history. Still, many of us longed for more sustained, deeper dialogue with our colleagues. At the closing plenary in Tsarskoye Selo, Kathy Dwyer Southern, co-chair of ICOM-US asked us for reflections. Here are just a few of the responses:

“It is great to end up with questions, not answers.”

“Before, I had the impression that conversations might not be easy, that participants would be more reserved due to the political situation, and unsure how to engage with each other. Only to find out that as we share the same passion, there has been an openness right from the beginning, and international conversations all over.”

“Making a difference needs courage! To see that we all share the same values gives us the strength to be courageous.”

For more information, contact: kh@katrinhieke.de or Linda@lindabnorris.com

A new city museum opens its doors in Djenné, Mali

The Djenné Museum – a collaborative effort between the Malian government and the European Commission – will open its doors in November 2014 with an inaugural exhibition entitled Djenné, une mosaïque culturelle (Djenné: A Cultural Mosaic).

The museum’s construction began in 2008 and is one component of a European cultural policy support programme for Mali (PAPCM), which also aims to expand the country’s National Museum and create two other regional museums in Sikasso and Bandiagara. The PAPCM grew out of Mali’s policy of promoting and preserving local heritage, launched in the 1970s.

The 2,025 square meter building houses three exhibition halls on the ground floor and three others on the first floor, along with administrative offices. The museum also boasts a panoramic terrace.

The new museum is located in the city centre, between the Mosque of Djenné, the Manuscript Library in the south, the Hotel Campement in the north, and the Maison des Artisans in the east. The concrete and mud building combines both traditional Djenné architecture and Sudanese and Moroccan influences.

Another month full of exchanges and meetings

After a busy September, filled with annual meetings and conferences organised by International and National Committees all over the world, October promises to be just as eventful a month within the ICOM community.

Multiple National and International Committees organised live-tweeting during their conferences in September, which was met with a great deal of success among tweeters interested in cultural heritage and museums. Many of the conferences listed here will also organise live tweeting using the following hastags: #DEMHIST2014, #ICOMAM2014, #UMACECA2014 and #ICME2014. Stay up to date about events and activities within ICOM’s network, as well as live-tweeting hashtags, by following ICOM at @IcomOfficiel.
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Publications

Declaração de princípios de documentação em museus e Diretrizes internacionais de informação sobre objetos de museus: categorias de informação do Comitê Internacional de Documentação (CIDOC-ICOM). Alice Grant, Joséphine Nieuwenhuis, Tony Petersen (eds.); Marilúcia Bottallo (transl.). São Paulo: Secretaria de Estado de Cultura de São Paulo; Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, 2014, 76 p. (in Portuguese).

The Statement of Principles of Museum Documentation, adopted by the ICOM International Committee for Documentation (CIDOC) at its 2012 Annual General Meeting in Helsinki, and the International Guidelines for Museum Object Information, published by CIDOC in June 1995, have been translated into Portuguese. The former serves as a guide for museums in developing their documentation and collections management policies, while the latter is a description of information categories that can be used in developing records about the objects in museum collections, to be adopted by individual museums, national documentation organisations or system developers as the basis for a working museum documentation system.

The Portuguese translation of these documents coincided with the second CIDOC Training Programme held in Brazil, from 17-22 August, 2014 at the Centro Universitário Belas Artes in São Paulo, and jointly organised by the Secretaria de Estado de Cultura de São Paulo, the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, the Instituto de Arte Contemporânea and the Centro Universitário Belas Artes . Courses were offered in Portuguese, Spanish and English on Museum Documentation, Principles and Practice, drawing in a wide array of museum specialists – CIDOC members, academics, experts from Brazilian institutions – as well as professionals in the field of documentation.

ICOM News Vol. 67 No. 3

The ninth digital edition of ICOM News has been published in its user-friendly digital format. The second issue of 2014, Vol. 67 No. 3, features a Special Report on museum financing, a Best Practices section devoted to travelling exhibitions, and an In Focus section on the IMD 2014 theme Museum collections make connections. With contributions from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Canada, Pakistan and beyond, the issue addresses a range of issues and events from far-flung corners of the globe.
Read the issue online: http://archives.icom.museum/icomnews2014-3_eng/index.html
Download the issue in PDF format via ICOMMUNITY: http://icommunity.icom.museum/en/content/icom-news-magazine

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