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May 2015
Nuwakot museum damage, Nepal © ICOM Nepal

ICOM mobilises its experts for Nepal

ICOM DRTF (Disaster Relief Task Force), an ICOM technical committee, has been collecting information and working on a Museum Watch List for Nepal after the devastating earthquake of April and its numerous aftershocks hitting the region.

Shortly, an overall damage assessment report will be released based on information collected jointly on the ground by ICOM/ICCROM/ICOMOS, the Department of Antiquities of Nepal, UNESCO, and other colleagues in the country.

A joint ICOM/ICOMOS/ICCROM damage assessment mission is working in Nepal between 25-30 May, at the invitation of the Department of Antiquities of Nepal and the UNESCO Nepal office. Corine Wegener, Chair of DRTF and Cultural Heritage Preservation Officer of the Smithsonian Institution, takes part in the mission. They will work with the local teams to document damage, assist with emergency stabilisation, and plan for First Aid hands-on workshops to take place in June.

International Museum Day is here once again, with the theme “Museums for a Sustainable Society”

Since 1977, every year on and around 18 May, ICOM promotes International Museum Day (IMD). This is a unique moment for the international museum community to plan creative events and activities related to the IMD theme, to engage with their public and highlight the importance of the role of museums as institutions that serve society and its development.
From Peru to Papua New Guinea, from Uganda to Kuwait, museums are inventive in raising the public’s awareness on the subject of sustainable society. This year, more than 35,000 museums from some 130 countries celebrated International Museum Day for a day, a weekend or whole week. Some 400 activities are featured on the official IMD website.

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June marks the start of a new cycle of conferences for the ICOM network

The month of May was full of network meetings and events, including ICOM France's Study Days for Ethics in Marseille, focusing on the mobility of collections, and the meeting of UMAC, ICOM's International Committee for University Museums and Collections, at Santo Tomas University in Manila (Philippines) on the theme "Rethinking University Museums: Bridging Theory and Practice."

The spirit of gathering and collective interest extends into the month of June. On 11 and 12 June, ICOM Spain will hold its 2015 Museum Meetings in Madrid on the theme "Museum Professionals: the Quest for a Definition," at the National Archeological Museum. Participants will examine the museum community's current situation, history, challenges and future outlook. A few days later, three committees will meet near Lake Constance for an international symposium. From 18 to 20 June 2015, ICOM Austria, ICOM Switzerland and ICOM Germany will be in St. Gallen for their triennial meeting to discuss this year's topic, "Museums for All: Imperative or Illusion?" ICOM President Hans-Martin Hinz will also attend the conference.

ICOM Israel will be holding its annual meeting in Jerusalem from 21 to 23 June 2015 on the topic of education in museums. This year's theme, "Bridging Gaps in 2015," promises to be especially interesting. Finally, one of our 30 international committees, CIMCIM (the International Committee of Museums and Collections of Instruments and Music) will hold its annual conference in Saint Petersburg (Russia) from 27 June to 2 July 2015 on the theme "Artists and Performances in the Museum Environment: A General Outlook." With the arrival of summer, the network meeting and conference circuit will take a short break before roaring back in September.

See you in Paris at the 2015 ICOM annual meetings!

ICOM's annual meetings, held every year in Paris, are a major event for the international museum community. This year, more than 300 leading figures and experts from museums around the world will attend the meetings from 1 to 3 June 2015.

ICOM's annual meetings offer a unique opportunity for museum professionals to examine the issues facing today's museums and share ideas with prestigious speakers.

This year, neurobiologist Jean-Pierre Changeux, who has worked at the Pasteur Institute and the Collège de France, will open the meetings on Monday 1 June with a keynote speech on "Beauty in the Brain: the Neuroscience of Artistic Creation." Changeux has worked alongside museums for many years, as a supporter of the arts, through his research and cross-cutting publications on art and the brain, and in his role as President of the French Inter-ministerial Commission for the Conservation of National Artistic Heritage. Furthermore, he has been curator of various exhibitions, including L’âme au corps, presented in 1993 at the Grand Palais in collaboration with Jean Clair, a French intellectual figure. His speech will provide personal insight and depth to issues related to the evolution of the concept of heritage, which is constantly gaining new mental and visual ground.

These meetings will also provide the opportunity to decide which of the two candidate cities, Cincinnati or Kyoto, will host the ICOM General Conference in 2019. Both city's delegations, which will have stands at the meetings, will have just over two days to convince participants and committee members before the final decision is announced on the morning of Wednesday 3 June.

We wish all the participants a productive professional meeting under the sometimes unpredictable lights of the French capital!

N.B: Stay tuned to our Twitter and Facebook accounts with the hashtag #JuneMeetings, and use it to participate in the discussions!

The May issue of ICOM News magazine is now available online!

The latest issue of ICOM News is now out, focusing on a series of timely topics. A Special Report on Museums and human rights explores the activist role that museums are increasingly called upon to play, examining different examples of museums devoted to struggles against oppression and suffering, past and present. The theme of IMD 2015, Museums for a sustainable society, inspires the In Focus section, with enquiries into evolving museological discourses in art museums and efficient climate solutions for cultural heritage buildings. A Case Study of Public-private partnerships takes us to Antwerp, where the Museum aan de Stroom has used such a strategy to its advantage. All of this, alongside museum responses around the world to the Charlie Hebdo attacks, details on ICOM Milano 2016 General Conference, and some surprising findings under the ICOM Secretariat offices in Paris…

Read online: ICOM News will soon be delivered to your mailboxes.

To receive future print versions in 2015, be sure to fill in the following form on our website if your address has changed:

If you wish to download the issue in PDF format, you may do so on your ICOMMUNITY page:

Museum International published

The second issue of Museum International published by ICOM is now available, devoted to the theme of International Museum Day 2014, Museum collections make connections. Coordinated by the ICOM International Committee for Collecting (COMCOL), the issue explores a series of assumptions pertaining to museum collections, and reflects on their implications for different types of collections in different parts of the world, from New Zealand to Japan and Zimbabwe to Sweden.

ICOM members can access this issue free-of-charge from their ICOMMUNITY page:

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!

Happy International Museum Day ...

Posted by ICOM - International Council of Museums on Monday 18 May 2015
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