The International Council of Museums (ICOM) is the only international organisation representing museums and museum professionals.
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E-newsletter November 2015

ICOM makes museums' voices heard at UNESCO

On 13 November, Anne-Catherine Robert-Hauglustaine, Director General of ICOM, presented the "Recommendation on the Protection and Promotion of Museums and Collections, their Diversity and their Role in Society" at the 38th General Conference of UNESCO.

This recommendation, prepared by ICOM with the help of Professor François Mairesse, Chairperson of ICOM's International Committee for Museology (ICOFOM), and UNESCO, was born from the shared desire to introduce standards and principles affirming the place of museums in society and their associated roles and responsibilities. It was just adopted at the General Conference of UNESCO on 17 November.

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Innovation and creativity rewarded in Budapest

Every year, AVICOM, the International Committee for Audiovisual and New Technologies of Image and Sound, organises the International Audiovisual Festival on Museums and Heritage (FIAMP). The international professional event aims to raise awareness of museum productions using new technologies of image and sound. The festival is a competition judged by a panel of international specialists.

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Prestigious speakers to attend the 2016 ICOM General Conference in Milan

Noted figures from a variety of different fields will give the six keynote speeches at the ICOM General Conference, offering surprising, visionary points of view on topics of interest to the community of museum professionals. First to take the stage will be Orhan Pamuk and Christo. Pamuk, a Turkish writer and winner of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Literature, has written novels including The Museum of Innocence, which resulted in the creation of a museum of the same name in Istanbul in April 2012 and won the European Museum of the Year Award in 2014.

The artist Christo, famous for projects such as the Valley Curtain and the Pont Neuf Wrapped in Paris, some of the most spectacular ephemeral and monumental works of art of the 20th century, proves that art can also be experienced in urban landscapes. Leading figures in their respective fields, the two men will discuss their views of the General Conference theme, "Museums and Cultural Landscapes". Other speakers such as Nkandu Luo, the former Minister of Culture and current Minister of Gender and Child Development in Zambia, engaged in issues of women's rights and child marriage, Krysztof Pomian, a Polish historian and specialist in European culture and philosophy, Michele De Lucchi, an Italian architect, and David Throsby, an Australian economist specialised in the economy of culture, will contribute to the discussion during the conference's daily plenary sessions.

Don't miss this unforgettable meeting of the museum community, where you'll have the opportunity to participate a unique, transdisciplinary discussion.

Reminder: Travel grants available for the 2016 24th General Conference in Milan, Italy

To support the inclusive participation of its members, ICOM has developed two travel grant programmes. The deadline for submitting applications is 14 December 2015. The results will be announced in March 2016. For more information, please contact The application form and grant criteria are also available on the ICOMMUNITY platform.

ICOM establishes a new heritage management training programme in Algeria

A new training programme for managing cultural goods has just been created as part of the Support Programme for the Protection and Promotion of Cultural Heritage in Algeria, launched in 2014 in partnership with the European Union. This project will be managed by a European group including ICOM, the Avignon School, the French National Audiovisual Institute (INA), the Chaillot School, the Italian company Hydea and IBF, a company specialised in managing European projects.

The aim of the programme, to be developed by 2020, is to support "the use of cultural [heritage] as a tool for economic and human development in Algeria (...) and provide technical support in terms of methods, management tools, and knowledge of inventorying cultural goods", said Zohir Ballalou, Director General of the programme and Director of Culture in the Wilaya (province) of Ghardaïa, in an interview with the Huffington Post Algeria.

The training programme aims to "develop recognised professional development courses in the fields of heritage preservation and offer continuing education on protected and classified heritage for engineers and architects", added Ballalou in the interview. It's a new and promising challenge for the ICOM staff who will be working on the programme with the support of the International Committee for the Training of Personnel (ICTOP) and three national francophone committees – those of France, Switzerland, and Belgium. ICOM staff will be providing more than 250 days of training from December 2015 to February 2017, in areas such as collection inventory, collection management, exhibitions, safety and security, preservation and restoration, education, and cultural mediation.

A new step in enhancing ICOM's archives

You may recall that we mentioned the work being done to enhance the ICOM archives in our June 2015 newsletter. For the last several months, General Conference reports, the letters and mail of previous generations of the General Secretariat, photographs, audiovisual recordings and assorted posters, stored in our offices since 1946, have been assessed and processed before their upcoming transfer to the National Archives of France. In November, Mr Jacques Kuhnmunch, Treasurer of the ICFA (the International Committee for Museums and Collections of Fine Arts), took a new step in transmitting our institutional memory. Leading a small revolution in the ICOM network, Mr Kuhnmunch came in person to bring the international committee's archives to the Documentation Centre at the General Secretariat in Paris so they could be included in the next transfer to the National Archives.

Among the stack of papers handed over were important documents tracing the history of the committee, such as annual conference agendas and reports, regulations amended over the years, and the committee's articles of association, dating back to the Mexico City Conference of 1980, when ICFA was created. A total of 35 years of work by men and women with a passion for the fine arts was collected and handed over.

Far from just a trivial gesture, it was an invitation to other international committees to do the same in order to make transferring archives to the ICOM General Secretariat an automatic process and make these groups' actions and research accessible to all. This mission is currently being only partially fulfilled by the Annual Report, for which information will start being collected soon.

It is our pleasure to inform you that the latest issue of Museum International, entitled Key Ideas in Museums and Heritage (1949-2004), is now available online via the Wiley Online Library.

ICOM members are granted free access to the Museum International current and archive issues until early 2016 through ICOMMUNITY.

Communicating the Museum 2015

350 delegates from 27 countries participated in the 15th edition of the ICOM-sponsored Communicating the Museum Conference in Istanbul, Turkey. Participants were thrilled with the quality of the discussions and the expertise of the conference speakers. It is our great pleasure to share with you the Pink Book of top communication strategies.
Click here to get inspired by innovative ideas and share them with your team!

Hits of the month

Check out the most popular Facebook and Twitter posts of the month and the most read articles from our Scoop it press review!

Many of you have been asking and we are relieved to confirm that all staff of ICOM Secretariat are in safe places now. Thank you for your support in such difficult times. You make us strong!

Posted by ICOM - International Council of Museums sur Saturday 14 november 2015

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