The International Council of Museums (ICOM) is the only international organisation representing museums and museum professionals.
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E-newsletter February 2016

ICOM supports a new initiative of the museum community, the EMEE project

On 22 February, an international seminar entitled “One object, many visions” was held in Lisbon, organised by ICOM Portugal and EMEE (Eurovision-Museums Exhibiting Europe). The objective of this international gathering, focused among other topics on the improvement of social participation in museums and visitor interaction, was to assess museum networking and the synergies that arise from this. Many important ICOM figures took part, including ICOM President Hans-Martin Hinz, as well as Emma Nardi, Chair of the CECA International Committee, and David Vuillaume, President of NEMO and Secretary of ICOM Switzerland. Read More

Good news from the Czech Republic

On 9 February, the Director General of ICOM, Dr Anne-Catherine Robert-Hauglustaine, travelled to Prague to attend the ICOM's Czech National Committee General Assembly, followed by a conference on the future of museums. The top-level meeting was held at the Museum of Czech Literature in the Strahov Monastery, one of the oldest in the country.
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Remembering two major figures in the history of ICOM

Zbyněk Zbyslav Stránský and Vinos Sofka, two leading figures in the field of museology, passed away in early 2016. We would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to these two men who contributed to the emergence of museology as an academic discipline. Both from the Czech Republic and both founding members of ICOM's International Committee for Museology (ICOFOM), they influenced several generations of museologists, not only from Central Europe but also from Sweden, Germany, France and Latin America.

Vinos Sofka democratised museology from Sweden throughout Scandinavia, where he was forced to immigrate after Prague was invaded by Soviet troops in the spring of 1968. A founding member of ICOFOM in 1977, he became its publications editor (beginning in 1979), then Executive Board member (in 1980) and finally Chair in 1982. Since 1995, Vinos Sofka was a Permanent Advisor to ICOFOM and became its Honorary President. The leading museologist was also a member and then Vice President of the ICOM Executive Council from 1992 to 1995 and finally became a member emeritus in 2007 for services rendered to the field of museology around the world. Vinos Sofka was also actively involved in writing for ICOFOM's various publications.

Zbyněk Zbyslav Stránský helped popularise museology in Eastern Europe. The creator of a museology department at Jan Evangelista Purkyně University, he helped bring international acclaim to the city of Brno in 1987 with the founding of the International Summer School of Museology (ISSOM), in partnership with UNESCO. Zbyněk Zbyslav Stránský strengthened the scientific legitimacy of the discipline by making it part of the academic system, dedicating himself during his career to defining a number of concepts, including musealisation and museality.

Vinos Sofka believed that ICOFOM's role was not to answer questions about museology, but to bring them to light, reflect on them and contribute to their analysis, all while making museology into its own academic discipline – a strong vision that will no doubt be shared by his successors.

A conference on the destruction and dispersion of cultural heritage during armed conflict is acclaimed by our experts

On 9 February in a packed room in Paris, participants discussed the destruction of cultural heritage at the conference on the destruction and dispersion of cultural heritage during armed conflict. The event was organised under the scientific leadership of Vincent Négri, an ICOM expert on illicit traffic. The current relevance of the topic motivated La Fabrique Juridique du Patrimoine Culturel to take a broader look at the subject in order to better grasp and understand the issues facing our societies.

The day-long conference was held on 9 February and focused on three main topics: the role of international law in protecting cultural heritage in danger, the activities of non-state actors, and post-conflict restoration and reconstruction.

The conference provided an opportunity for actors such as the International Council of Museums (ICOM) and the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) to reaffirm their vital role in fighting the illicit traffic of cultural goods.

Guest speaker France Desmarais, ICOM's Director of Programmes and Partnerships, stated that "exceptional times call for exceptional measures" and that when it comes to protecting heritage, "we need strong actions and signals". Aware that the fight against illicit traffic must constantly adapt to emergency situations and new practices, ICOM recently developed two new tools: the Emergency Red List of Libyan Cultural Objects at Risk and a book entitled "Countering Illicit Traffic in Cultural Goods: The Global Challenge of Protecting the World's Heritage". These two documents are the newest additions to an already long list of resources aimed at protecting heritage in danger, including the international standard Object ID, the One Hundred Missing Objects collection, the International Observatory on Illicit Traffic in Cultural Goods, and 14 previous Red Lists.

Original viewpoints, relevant information: find the section dedicated to ICOM 24th General Conference every month here in your e-newsletter.


The multimedia exhibition « Where ICOM from » will occupy more than 200m² on the conference venue. An immersive display will highlight how ICOM has grown into an international organisation since its creation in 1946 and will question its past evolution and future changes.

The exhibition will retrace the commitment of an ICOM member, since his/her very first steps in the organisation, to his/her personal development as an actor of the ICOM network. Graphics, timelines and maps will illustrate ICOM’s expansion and achievements throughout the years. Archive documents, including pictures, posters and goodies will immerse the visitors into ICOM’s long and exciting history. The main ICOM topics and its future challenges will be told through the personal experience and views of ICOM members, and interactive devices will allow the visitors to participate in the discussion. Translated in English, French, Spanish and Italian, the “Where ICOM from” exhibition will turn into a travelling exhibition at the end of the 24th ICOM General Conference, and all its contents will be made available on a special website.

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

[#WhereICOMfrom] - As a preview, here is the name of the new temporary exhibition celebrating the 70th birthday of ICOM...

Posté par ICOM - International Council of Museums sur jeudi 11 février 2016
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