Last week, Alissandra Cummins, President of ICOM, met as part of the Editorial and Advisory Committee of The National Folk Museum of Korea to establish the next issue of the International Journal of Intangible Heritage (http://www.ijih.org). This publication is an annual refereed academic and professional English language journal dedicated to the promotion of the understanding of all aspects of the intangible heritage of the world.
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Meeting in Seoul has become completely logical. Indeed, this international publication was one of the signifiant outcomes of the 2004 ICOM Triennial General Conference, held in this country with the theme “Museums and Intangible Heritage”. Furthermore, over the last ten years, Korea has set up a system for protecting and communicating about the importance of the intangible cultural heritage. Alissandra Cummins states in this connection that: “Korea has been very good about informing other countries and helping them to become aware of these kinds of systems. Indeed, developing knowledge about the importance of apprenticing younger people to learn from the master traditional bearers is the important aspect of that”.
Korea’s work has contributed to the success of UNESCO’s Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, (2003): “[…]That meant that those countries, I think, over 100 now agree to share responsibilities for safeguarding intangible cultural heritage. How they do that is often through institutions like the museums, libraries and archives. One of the best ways is to empower institutions […] to work with communities and to evolve different methodologies […] to document to preserve the forms of expression and then to make that expression accessible through […] publications […] documentaries and databases […] to the wider population,”Alissandra Cummins, said.
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