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Resolutions adopted by ICOM's General Assembly 1953

3rd General Conference and 4th General Assembly of ICOM

Milan, Italy, 11 July 1953

Resolution No. 1: Exchange of Museum Personnel ICOM

Taking into account the fact that exchange of persons, in the museum field, is not sufficiently well developed,

Recommends that the ICOM International Committee on Personnel be entrusted with the preparation of a questionnaire on the exchange of persons, to be sent to ICOM's National Committees, in order to discover where funds may be secured, and that ICOM's International Committee on Personnel study the replies received and draw from them concrete conclusions, especially on exchanges between developed countries and those in the course of development.

Resolution No. 2: UNESCO Missions of Experts


Taking into account the success of the missions of experts organized by UNESCO to advise and assist, on their request and with their financial participation, those countries which find it particularly difficult to organize their museums and undertake the conservation of their monuments and historic sites,

Recommends that the National Committees:

a. Spread, in appropriate places, information about the possibility of obtaining such missions and about the services that these missions can render;

b. Bring these points to the attention of their governments, and

Taking into account the desirability of coming to the aid of museums in countries undergoing development,

Recommends that a meeting of experts be called as quickly as possible to study the form this aid should take and the conditions under which it might be given.

Resolution No. 3: Travelling Exhibition "The Museum--A Centre of Education"


Bearing in mind:

1. That the Second Conference resolved to prepare an international travelling exhibition entitled "The Museum--A Centre of Education";

2. That a sum of $2,000 was set aside for this purpose in the 1952 budget and was placed at the disposal of the American Museum of Natural History in order to meet the cost of this project;

3. That the experts commissioned by ICOM, notwithstanding their competence and persevering efforts, have not been able to complete the project successfully because of the difficulties which they have encountered;

4. That they have assembled an important basic documentation;

5. That, with the assistance of their respective institutions, and with a disinterestedness that should be underlined, they have themselves met the expenses of their preparatory efforts;

6. That, as a result the above-mentioned credit is still entirely available;

7. That the completion of the project remains most opportune, so long as the method of achieving it is altered,

Resolves, subject to approval by UNESCO:

1. To produce, in collaboration with the International Subject Committee for Education, within a year, a publication dealing with the various means employed in the training and encouragement of teachers in the use of museums;

2. To set up for this purpose and to call together a small commission of experts with the task of preparing this publication;

3. To use, for this programme, the funds at present available.

Resolution No. 4: Lighting of Museum Objects


Expressing its gratitude to its Commission on the Lighting of Museum Objects for the work it has accomplished, especially by publishing the booklet entitled Use of Fluorescent Light in Museums,

Recommends to its Committee on Museum Laboratories:

1. That it continue the research and experiments already undertaken, in cooperation with specialized institutions, in order to encourage the creation of suitable installations, which are not detrimental to the preservation of museum objects, taking into account the present trend;

2. That it satisfy, whenever possible, the requests for information that may be sent in to it by museum curators through one of the bodies of ICOM.

Resolution No. 5: Treatment of Wood Objects


Taking into account the diseases threatening wooden objects, especially sculptures, particularly liable to deterioration,

Recommends that its Committee on Museum Laboratories study the causes of these diseases and their adequate remedies, this study to be undertaken in liaison with the ICOM Commission for the Care of Paintings.

Resolution No. 6: Free Circulation of Cultural Material


Taking into account the importance and effectiveness of the action undertaken by UNESCO to favour, on an international level, free circulation of cultural material,

Concerned about the risks run by works of art destined for international exhibitions during their passage through customs,

Recommends to the National Committees of ICOM to intercede with the governments of their respective countries for the purpose of influencing them to ratify and to put into effect the agreement on the importation of educational, scientific and cultural material,

Recommends further that UNESCO endeavour:

1. To induce the railroads of different countries to accept as personal luggage cultural material en route to international exhibitions;

2. To induce them to grant museum officials all facilities for conveying cultural material entrusted to their care;

3. To ensure that customs officers facilitate the passage of this material through customs.

Resolution No. 7: Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Property


Rejoicing that UNESCO contemplates creating an international study centre for the preservation and restoration of cultural property,

Recommends that UNESCO, should the centre be set up, include in its programme consideration of the protection of cultural property in the case of armed conflicts.

Resolution No. 8: Protection of Cultural Property in Case of Armed Conflict


Informed of UNESCO's intention to organize an intergovernmental conference to draft a convention for the protection of cultural property in case of armed conflict,

Taking into account the fact that the adoption of such a convention is of the greatest importance to museums,

Recommends to its National Committees that they approach their governments in order to create particular interest in this project.

Resolution No. 9: Exchange of Objects Between Museums of Archaeology, Ethnology and Natural History


Taking into account that the advancement of archaeological, ethnographic and natural sciences is dependent on a wide distribution of the material belonging to these fields,

Recommends that there be established in each country, a series of objects intended for exchange with other countries by gift or long term loan.

Resolution No. 10: Exchange of Numismatic Collections


Expressing its gratitude to the French and Swedish experts who presented reports on the organization of an international exchange of contemporary numismatic collections,

Resolves to invite its experts to enter into agreement with the international organization of numismatics in order that their suggestions may reach a practical result.

Resolution No. 11: Type Specimens


Taking note of the report on type specimens in natural history presented by Professor Swinton at its Third General Conference,


1. That descriptions or identifications of new species or genera be accompanied by the name of the original collection to which the type in question belongs and by a designation of its location, when this specimen can be preserved;

2. That type specimens be deposited in a museum or university collection sufficiently important to assure them permanent preservation under good conditions;

3. That at the International Zoological Congress consideration be given to the creation of National Committees to watch over preservation of type specimens and to present a report on the question to the following Congress,

4. That in cases where type specimens have been lost or destroyed by accident or by faulty preservation, the International Commission of Zoological Nomenclature be consulted by ICOM in order to permit the creation of lectotypes;

5. That there be published and sent, above all to small museums where very unfavourable conditions often prevail, recommendations on the correct designation of "types" as well as the preservation and labelling of specimens;

6. That it be recommended to the various countries to deposit type specimens in important establishments, which will get in touch with the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature as well as with the competent specialists on the subject.

Resolution No. 12: The Protection of Nature


Recommends that natural history museums consider it one of their duties to take into account the protection of nature and to educate the public on this subject.

Resolution No. 13: List of Historical Scientific Instruments


Taking into account the following resolution adopted at the London General Conference in 1950: "ICOM, Considering the value to the history of science and technology of a list of historically important scientific apparatus preserved in public museums and other repositories, and in private collections, and noting that its International Committee on Museums of Science and Technology has happily embarked on the preparation of such a list,

Resolves to furnish that Committee, as far as possible, with the necessary means to continue the list and to publish it.",

Noting that the funds which it has meanwhile been able to provide the Committee have enabled two museums to undertake the work, but that much larger funds are needed to bring it to completion,

Expresses the hope that the necessary funds may become available to ensure the completion of the inventory and its subsequent publication.

Resolution No. 14: Exchange of Experts from Museums of Science and Technology


Agreeing with the action undertaken by UNESCO in favour of countries which have not sufficiently benefited by the progress of science,

Convinced that museums of science and technology are particularly qualified to support this action,

Noting that the best method at their disposal is the development of international exchanges between highly developed countries and those in course of development,

Expresses the hope that fellowships may be granted to experts from different countries in order to further these exchanges.

Resolution No. 15: International Exhibition of Science and Technology


Noting that it would be extremely useful to organize, with the help of the largest possible number of science and technical museums, a travelling exhibition which would illustrate the latest scientific achievements and their relation to human progress,

Resolves to set aside in its budget for 1955 and 1956 the necessary funds for the organization of such an exhibition.

Resolution No. 16:


Having been advised by Mr Ucelli, Director of the Museum of Science and Technology, of his intention of devoting the colonnade room in his museum to a temple to science and technology "glorious sanctuary in which one can venerate the evidence of the achievements of the great scientists and pioneers who have determined the important phases of the evolution and social progress of humanity",

Noting that such a project can but develop mutual understanding between peoples,

Expresses the wish:

1. That the carrying out of this project may receive wide and generous international cooperation;

2. That similar institutions may be set up in the museums of science and technology of all countries.

Resolution No. 17: International Museum of Civilization


Referring to the following resolution adopted at its London General Conference in 1950: "ICOM, having heard the statement by M. André Léveillé on the scheme for an International Museum of Civilization, Recommends that UNESCO set up a Committee to consider the possibilities of carrying out this scheme.",

Noting that the resolution retains its value,

Expresses the wish that a committee may be set up without delay in order to study the means of establishing an International Museum of Civilization.

Resolution No. 18: International Museums Day


Having heard a statement by M. Léveillé concerning the organization of an international museums day within the framework of the crusade for museums,

Convinced that a manifestation of this kind, if sufficiently well prepared beforehand, is liable to give rise to concrete realizations in museums and to increase the influence of these institutions,

Recommends that UNESCO take this project into consideration and promote its realization within the shortest time, in cooperation with ICOM.


Updated: 20 June 2005