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E-newsletter July August 2015
Khaled al-Asaad in 2002. Marc DEVILLE / Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

The International Council of Museums (ICOM) vehemently condemns the appalling murder of Khaled Asaad

The International Council of Museums (ICOM) vehemently condemns the appalling murder of Khaled Asaad, 82, in Palmyra, Syria, by Islamic State militants.

A renowned archaeologist and scholar, Mr Asaad was head of antiquities at the ancient ruins of Palmyra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, for more than a half-century. He was a longtime member of ICOM.

The international museum and heritage community extend their deepest condolences to the family of Mr Asaad, to the residents of Palmyra and the people of Syria in the face of this most recent act of extremist brutality that has led to the loss of countless lives, the annihilation of collective history and identity in the context of ongoing violence and unrest.

ICOM expresses its outrage at the wanton disregard for humanity displayed by the murder of Mr Asaad, who devoted his life to working for the preservation of the historical site of Palmyra, so important to the culture and history of human kind.

The international community strongly condemns this senseless act of violence, the systemic destruction of lives, of culture and of heritage in Syria. The loss of Mr Asaad is a loss for us all.

New ICOM conference season set to open

Summer is almost gone! About a dozen international committees will meet over the course of September, the start of a rich season of conferences that runs through November. The annual conferences provide participating members with an opportunity for encounters and discussions with their peers as well as for reinforcing their skills.

COSTUME (International Committee for Costume Collections) will inaugurate the new season in Toronto, Canada, with an annual conference on ‘Exhibitions and Interpretations’ which will take place from 8 to 13 September, 2015. The choice of the host city is far from arbitrary: textiles have historically shaped Toronto’s landscape, making it an important centre for the Canadian textile industry until the early 20th century.

At the same time, CAMOC (International Committee for the Collections and Activities of Museums of Cities) will be celebrating its 10th anniversary in Moscow, Russia, which also hosted its very first conference. From 7 to 10 September, participants will debate on ‘Memory and Migration’ – a theme that aims to bring to light the ways in which migrations shape the history, culture and development of a city.

This year, two committees will hold their opening meeting during a joint conference: ICDAD (International Committee for Museums and Collections of Decorative Arts and Design) and ICOMAM (International Committee of Museums of Arms and Military History) in Krakow, Poland, from 15 to 19 September, in the National Museum of Krakow. The conference theme is ‘Ambassadors of Dialogue’ – a symbolic choice insofar as Krakow has over a millennia of tradition and played a key role in regional politics and culture during the Renaissance. Exchanges will take place on the nature and function of diplomatic gifts – works of art and craftsmanship alike – in intercultural dialogue.

Finally, ICOFOM (ICOM International Committee for Museology), will gather in Tsukuba, Japan to host its 38th annual symposium around the MLA theme (Museums – Libraries – Archives) with a specific focus on museology. From 13 to 18 September, 2015, a number of museums professionals will meet to analyse similarities and differences between all three types of institutions.

In addition, this year, ICOM is maintaining its partnership with Agenda for the organisation of the international conference Communicating the Museum (CTM), for its 15th edition, from 9 to 12 September, 2015. Its past edition took place in the Pacific region in 2014 but this year it will be held in Istanbul, Turkey. Communicating the Museum gathers decision-makers in the cultural sector from around the world and offers participants a wonderful opportunity to grow acquainted with, exchange and benefit from the expertise of professionals working outside the museum world.

Created in 2013, the ICOM Endowment Fund seeks to support initiatives which shape the museums of the 21st century. The Fund provides financial and operational support to activities addressing the global community of museums and promoting the social role of museums and their contribution to all areas of intellectual, artistic and heritage life.

ICOM has long committed to the conference, and now, the ICOM Endowment Fund is taking the reins in sponsoring the 14th Edition of The Best in Heritage conference, which will be held in Dubrovnik, Croatia, from 24 to 26 September, 2015. The conference provides a space for inspiration and highlights innovative efforts in the museum and heritage sector. It contributes to the larger aim of the ICOM Endowment Fund: to endorse the development and spreading of standards of excellence for the museum of the 21st century.

“To me, ICOM’s greatest value is its global network” – Interview with ICOM President Prof. Dr Hans-Martin Hinz

ICOM President Prof. Dr Hans-Martin Hinz gave an interview to ICOM Portugal, which will be featured in the National Committee’s September newsletter. In the interview, Hinz looks back on his career as a museum professional and his involvement with ICOM over the past decades.

“When I joined the German National History Museum [30 years ago], which has a very international concept, it was clear to me that ICOM was the ideal organisation to link this new museum with the world and for me, to learn from other museum colleagues as much as possible. […] To me ICOM’s greatest value is its global network. Museums everywhere are becoming more and more international, many of them global. In exhibits we explain not only our own history and culture, but also the past of others. Therefore, it is worthwhile to know how museum professionals think and work in other parts of the world. The ‘products’ of our doing, the exhibitions, become more authentic if we include the experiences and knowledge of others. ICOM is the ideal forum for that.”

Read the full article here

New workshop at the ICOM-ITC Training Centre in Beijing

Officially launched on 1 July, 2013, the ICOM International Training Centre (ICOM-ITC) relies on ICOM’s professional network to offer quality training programmes in museum studies for regional and international museum professionals, notably ICOM members from emerging countries and from the Asia-Pacific region.

The fifth ICOM-ITC training workshop will be held from 2 to 10 November, 2015 in Beijing, China. ICOM, ICOM China and the Palace Museum are pleased to offer travel grants to international participants attending the training workshop.

Please refer to the ICOM website for the types of grants available and the application criteria: Full applications including the application form as well as other documents are expected by Tuesday, 15 September, 2015.

The theme of this fifth training workshop is The Engaging Museum. A number of outstanding international and Chinese experts will give lectures and conduct discussions and group work on museum topics such as outreach programmes, community engagement and cultural action. A “Reading Artifacts” session, developed by the Canada Science and Technology Museum, will also be part of the programme, with access to objects from the collections of the host institution. In addition, hands on sessions will be organised in some of Beijing’s most renowned museums; and a full-day excursion will bring participants to the best known cultural heritage sites in and around Beijing.

More info on ICOM-ITC

ICOM states its position concerning exceptions to copyright law related to museums

ICOM shows its support for library and archive colleagues in their attempt to gain traction for copyright exceptions, whose progress was blocked recently by the European Union (EU).

Through the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Standing Committee on Copyright & Related Rights (SCCR), the cultural heritage community, comprising libraries, archives and museums, now needs all the support it can get, given the conflicting message coming from the EU.

Read the entire article here

ICOM annual report 2014 now available!

34,864 ICOM members in 2014, +5.7% membership growth compared to 2013, +9.9% more members registered with International Committees, a 88.75% average annual renewal rate, 118 National Committees, members present in 136 countries and territories, 226 new institutional members in 2014 and 300+ conference organised by different committees...

Some key figures to be found in ICOM's 2014 Activity Report, alongside the range of activities of the ICOM network, from training, conferences and publications to public advocacy and knowledge sharing. To view and/or download the document, please go here. Enjoy the read!

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!

Today, ICOM Director General Anne-Catherine Robert Hauglustaine sent her greetings to ICOM Argentina and ICOFOM LAM...

Posted by ICOM - International Council of Museums on thursday 30 july 2015
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