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Interim Activity Report of the ICOM Secretariat
April 2002 - March 2003

I. Membership Service III. Communication and Publication Service
II. Programme Activities Service IV. UNESCO-ICOM Information Centre


This report covers the year after the 2001 General Conference and describes activities pursued in line with the Strategic Plan adopted by the General Assembly for the current triennial period.

The Unit is composed of:

Two permanent full-time and one part-time permanent staff; and one temporary part-time clerk hired under the auspices of the French government-assisted " consolidated " contract.

Active Membership

At report's writing (March 31, 2003), the Unit ensured that services and benefits were rendered to more than 17,000 active members resident or located in 142 countries. It lapsed members who did not pay 2002 dues; for these unpaid members, all benefits including publications were suspended.

In 2002 and during the first three months of 2003 (at report's writing), the Unit registered 2273 new members of which 2126 are individuals. However during the same period, 3085 members were suspended due mainly to non-payment of membership dues.

The active National & International Committees, Affiliated Associations and Regional Organizations are listed in the Directory published with each number of ICOM News. Moreover, the names and addresses (including telephone, fax and email if available) of the National Committees' Chairs and Membership Secretaries are available and regularly updated on ICOM's Website at http://icom.museum/nationals.html.

The Unit is in direct contact with more than 200 members (who do not belong to national committees) regarding their payments, renewals and other services.

The following is a résumé of membership figures for the period covered (as of March 31, 2003):

  • 17400 + active members in 142 countries
  • 109 National Committees of which 58 enjoy regular membership subsidies and 3 had special subsidies for 2002 (Argentina, Botswana and Uruguay)
  • 33 countries where members are resident but national committees do not exist
  • 28 International Committees
  • 14 Affiliated Associations
  • 6 Regional Organizations
  • 2273 new members registered
  • 3085 members lapsed
  • 16,334 payments received & recorded for 2002
  • 922 membership applications processed and forwarded to International Committees

The tables in Section 3 of this report give membership statistics by categories, by geographical region and number of paid-up members..

1. National Committees

1.1. Establishment of New Committees

During this period, the following National Committees applied and were officially approved by the Executive Council: Laos DPR, Kazakhstan, Viet Nam. The National Committee in Namibia was provisionally approved on the condition that it met all statutory conditions.

1.2. Reorganised National Committees

The following Committees regularized their membership situation during the period and are again considered active: Afghanistan, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Burundi, Central African Republic, Costa Rica.

1.3. Committees Under Reorganization

The following National Committees did not remit the minimum annual dues for 2002 nor did they communicate to the Secretariat; they are therefore considered inactive and services suspended to the unpaid members: Comores, Kenya, Zambia.

1.4. Special Membership Subsidies

Botswana was granted an extension of its special membership subsidy for 2003.

1.5. Regular Membership Subsidies

In line with the Strategic Plan, the Membership Officer evaluated the membership subsidies granted to individual members. Taking into consideration her report submitted at its December 2002 meeting, Council members decided to expand the list of countries that can benefit from reduced membership fees. It decided that subsidies are henceforth granted to ICOM's individual members (with or without a National Committee) who reside in countries that are considered as low-income ($ 755 GNP or less) and as lower middle income (GNP $ 756-$ 2995) by the World Development Indicators Database of the World Bank (classification in effect until July 2002). For 2003 therefore, an individual member pays 24 Euros or US $ 28, which represents less than one-half of the annual dues fixed for regular individual members (52 Euros or $ 59). This revised list is appended as Annex B. Previously numbering 98, the list now encompasses 108 countries, of which 58 have National Committees.

1.6. ICOM Fund

Contributors to the Fund in 2001 were France and Switzerland.

Council approved financial assistance from the Fund for individual members resident in the following countries: Central African Republic and Mali for 2002; Chad and Kazakhstan for 2003. Further, Council granted financial assistance to the Afghan National Committee for a period of three years (2003-05).


Despite a drop in this Committee's membership in 2001, it was authorized by Council to continue its monthly renewal system for another year. In effect since 1999 to assist the Committee in recruiting and retaining members and due to expire in 2002, the system was extended for another year to give its newly-elected Board sufficient time to achieve its goals.

1.8. German National Committee

The institutional members of the German National Committee were authorized, for a period of two years, to have more than three cards depending on the number of their staff. The Committee set a fixed objective of increased institutional members during the approved period (2003 and 2004).

1.9. Student membership

Council's guidelines regarding the admission of student members and corresponding annual dues for 2003 were diffused to members of the Advisory Committee with copies also furnished to Secretaries. (See Annex A)

2. International Committees

2.1. Membership in International Committees

Council's decision on the right of every ICOM member to become a member of ONE International Committee with FULL voting rights has been diffused to the Advisory (copies to Secretaries) and publicised in ICOM News N° 1, 2003. This voting membership is free & includes all regular services rendered by the Committee (e.g. newsletters, bulletins) but the Committee has the right to charge fees for specific events. The membership lists corresponding to this category are the responsibility of the Paris Secretariat; it is also the basis for the Committee's annual subsidy granted by the Organisation.

In addition, every ICOM member has the right to become a member of as many other International Committees but WITHOUT voting rights. International Committees can request for financial contributions to cover expenses from those members registered under this category. The lists from this membership category are the full responsibility of the International Committees themselves. (cf. Annex A)

The Unit processed 922 new applications for international committee membership during the period. Moreover, the Unit continues to furnish the Committees' secretariats with their updated membership lists and newly-processed application forms on a quarterly basis; sticky labels and lists on electronic format are also furnished upon request.

2.2. Regular annual subsidies

Council approved the subsidies to International Committees as based on their active voting membership. This list (doc. EZ/TC/02/242) was drawn up in December 2002 (see Annex C). International Committees are entitled to receive ? 6.60 for each active voting member.

2.3. Meetings

Together with the Secretary General, the Membership Officer assisted the newly-elected Chair and Secretary of the International Assn. of Museums of Arms & Military History (IAMAM) in the drafting of their bylaws in view of its forthcoming official status as an International Committee of ICOM (to be known as ICOMAM). It is to be recalled that Council had officially approved its conversion as an international committee in June 2000, but formal integration was held in abeyance until the formal submission of its bylaws to Council now scheduled for June 2003.

3. Membership Statistics

The following tables show the membership situation for the period: number of paid-up members by category, by region and by selected country for 2001 & 2002. Numbers for 2002 are valid at March 31, 2003.


Number of paid-up members for 2001 by category
(The figures in parentheses are the numbers for 2001)
Regular A
Regular B
Regular C
Total paid
Total paid
Total number of paid-up members for 2002      = 16334 (15351)


Regional distribution of paid-up members for 2002 & 2001 (at March 31, 2002)
+ 0.25
Asia & Pacific
- 6.92
+ 7.56
Latin America & the Caribbean
- 1.12
North America
+ 14.54
+ 6.40

Comments on the above Table:

At report's writing, membership data for 2002 were still due from the following Committees: Cuba (Latin America & Caribbean), Russia (Asia & Pacific), Netherlands, Romania, Sweden (Europe), Burkina Faso (Africa):

  • Reminders regarding unpaid dues were sent to National Committees late in 2002, and early in 2003, but several replies to these reminders (sent by email and fax or airmail) came late in 2002 or in 2003.
  • Although the Unit was informed by several National Committees that payments were to be sent, many remittances and corresponding lists were received very late, thereby causing a delay in the processing of the dues.
  • Most of the Arab States are included in the rubric for Africa, a few are included in the European region. North America is composed of the United States & Canada. Mexico is included with Latin America and the Caribbean.
The transfer of Secretariat offices and archives to another building early in 2003 contributed to an unfortunate delay in data processing.


The following are the Organization's largest National Committees, in terms of registered paid-up membership for 2002 (figures are valid at March 31, 2002). (N.B. The numbers in parentheses are the paid-up members recorded & corrected for 2001.)


4. Regional Organisations


The Membership Officer attended the 7th Regional Assembly of ASPAC held in Shanghai (China) in October 2003. During the Assembly, a number of new members were recruited from the following countries: Samoa, Indonesia, Philippines, Mongolia. The Officer also assisted delegates from several countries with regard to the possible establishment of National Committees in their respective countries (Indonesia, Brunei, Mongolia).

5. ICOM Foundation

The Unit continues to manage the collection of annual dues from the Foundation's active supporting members or 'Friends' (46 individuals at March 31, 2003, up from 37 from the year before). In return for their annual dues, the usual services are rendered, e.g. ICOM cards, publications (ICOM News, Study Series).

6. Honorary Members

The Organization has ten (10) honorary members from the following countries: Algeria, Brazil, Czech Republic, France (2), Israel, Italy, Nigeria, Russia, United Kingdom. The Unit assures services to them i.e. ICOM cards, publications.

7. ICOM News

The Membership Unit continues to handle non-member subscriptions to ICOM News (invoices, renewals, payments, diffusion etc.). Composed primarily of libraries (public and private), these subscriptions number approximately 50. The Unit also handles complementary dissemination of the newsletter to a selective mailing list comprising mainly of key UNESCO staff members, UNESCO National Commissions, Permanent Delegations to UNESCO, National Libraries and Documentation Centres. At March 31, 2003, this complementary list counted 500 names and addresses.

8. Strategic Action Plan

Aside from the above-cited activities, the following actions were undertaken in line with the Strategic Plan:

The Membership Officer (together with the Secretary General, Publications Officer and Internet Editor) undertook a mission to Stockholm, Sweden late in June 2002 to study the feasibility of interfacing an on-line membership directory with Musedoma. She also took part in discussions related to Musenic (Musedoma). In close collaboration with key communication staff, research onto a feasible and viable on-line directory of members was conducted by the membership staff. A report will be submitted to Council (and Advisory) for consideration.

A report based on extensive research onto a feasible and viable on-line directory of members was drawn up by the Membership Officer. Submitted to Council for consideration at its December 2002 session, the project was however indefinitely shelved due to decreased budgetary resources.

9. Other matters

Official documents

The Officer reviewed and revised the following official documents for dissemination to newly-elected Chairs and Secretaries of National and International Committees and Affiliated Associations: Manual of Administrative Procedures for the Component Bodies of ICOM (August 2002), For More Information (November 2002).

Further, the Membership Kit was revised in November 2002 for distribution to museum professionals interested in establishing national committees in their countries.

Finally, ICOM's Welcome Brochure was extensively revised and produced in January 2003. Diffused to members of the Advisory (copies to Secretaries and Treasurers) in March 2003, and to new and reinstated members from January 2003, the Brochure describes the current advantages available to members and the procedures to follow in applying for membership in international committees.

Annexes :

Annex A

February 2003

The Executive Council, at its 102nd session held on December 9-11, 2002, rendered the following decisions on the above matters:

National Committees may admit student members on the following terms:

  • the student must be enrolled in a programme of study leading to a postgraduate or second cycle degree in museology, museum studies, museum education, museum management, conservation, or equivalent museum-related subject;
  • the application must be made to the National Committee of the country in which the student is enrolled in a nationally recognized institution, and include a copy of registration or a letter from the faculty administrator verifying enrolment and curriculum of study unless otherwise authorised by the host National Committee;
  • student membership is subject to the review and approval of the host National Committee.
Dues for students for 2003
40 ? (or $ 40) National Committees or countries without membership subsidies
20 ? (or $ 20) National Committees or countries enjoying membership subsidies


Council decided that every ICOM member has the right to become a member of ONE International Committee with FULL voting rights. This membership is free & includes all regular services rendered by the Committee (e.g. newsletters, bulletins) but the Committee has the right to charge fees for specific events. The membership lists corresponding to this category are the responsibility of the Paris Secretariat; it is also the basis for the Committee's annual subsidy granted by the Organisation.

In addition, every ICOM member has the right to become a member of as many other International Committees but WITHOUT voting rights. International Committees can request for financial contributions to cover expenses from those members registered under this category. The lists from this membership category are the full responsibility of the International Committees themselves.

Annex B

July 2002


The Executive Council, at its 101st session, decided that membership subsidies are granted to ICOM's individual members (with or without a National Committee) who reside in countries that are considered as low-income ($ 755 GNP or less) and as lower middle income (GNP $ 756-$ 2995) by the World Development Indicators Database of the World Bank (classification in effect until July 2002). For 2003, an individual member pays 24 ?uros or US$ 28, which represents less than one-half of the annual dues fixed for regular individual members

These countries are the following:


and members residing in WEST BANK & GAZA



Annex C

November 2002

16 406
7 487
49 377,40


The Strategic Plan 2001 - 2007 adopted by the ICOM General Assembly on Friday, 6th July 2001, in Barcelona, Spain, contains three major objectives for the period 2001-2007. During the period covered by this report, the Programme Activities Sector has undertaken the following activities towards the implementation of these objectives.

OBJECTIVE 1: ICOM is recognised as the international leader in the museum field, and a respected voice on issues affecting protection of the world's cultural and natural heritage

1.1. Programme for the Protection of Latin-American Cultural Heritage

Red List of Endangered Latin-American Cultural Property : ICOM, together with the Ministry of Culture of Colombia, organised the Third Regional Workshop for the Fight Against Illicit Traffic of Cultural Property, in Bogota, Colombia, from 23 to 26 April 2002.

This workshop, which was funded by the Prince Claus Fund, the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, aimed to strengthen the action that ICOM has already taken in the fight against illicit traffic throughout the world. It focused on establishing regional co-operation, strengthening security in museums, and developing public awareness, policies and actions to protect the region's heritage.

Specialists from all the Latin-American countries were invited by ICOM, as well as two persons from Africa who were instrumental in drawing up the African Red List, and other specialists from the market countries.

The workshop took place in the National Archives building in the historic centre of Bogota. Some 200 museum, heritage and law enforcement professionals from Latin America and other parts of the world attended. Plenary sessions included papers relating to archaeological, ecclesiastical and indigenous heritage in Latin America. Round-table discussions provided delegates with an opportunity to share their experience in areas such as regulating the trade in antiquities, raising awareness of the issues involved, inventorying objects in their care, and making use of international legislation and legal instruments.

All recommendations and proposals made at the meetings can be found in a document entitled "The Declaration of Bogota", which will shortly be published on the ICOM website.

A working group of around 50 heritage professionals from Latin American countries and curators of Latin American collections in Europe and North America also met, with the aim of drawing up a Red List of the types of cultural property worst affected by looting and theft in Latin America. Their goal was to agree on a number of categories of object at severe risk of looting despite being protected by law, following a similar method to that of the original ICOM Red List of African heritage at risk (http://icom.museum/redlist).

Three days of intensive debate resulted in a Red List for Latin America. The presence of two heads of African museums who had been involved in drawing up the original Red List and a number of international experts on heritage protection was a great asset in these discussions. The List will be published by the ICOM Secretariat in the form of a dossier containing factual information and materials for raising awareness about systematic looting of certain types of heritage. The information will be collected and harmonised and the dossier produced under the supervision of an editorial board of Latin American heritage experts who attended the Bogota workshop.

The list of categories is not exhaustive, but it serves as an appeal to museums, auction houses, art dealers and collectors to stop buying these objects and to verify that pre-Columbian or Colonial objects have been exported legally.

The Red List is also conceived as an information source, an awareness-raising tool and a means of verification for law-enforcement. The Red List of Latin American Cultural Objects is scheduled for publication in September 2003, in paper and electronic versions. It will contain a full description of each category of object, photos and details of legislation protecting these objects

1.2. Protection of the cultural heritage of Afghanistan

In view of the grave situation which has prevailed in Afghanistan over the past years, ICOM has been repeatedly contacted to initiate activities and publications for the safeguard of the Afghan heritage. ICOM is still studying ways to produce a publication on the issue, in spite of the difficult legal situation surrounding the objects. Meetings held during the Shanghai Workshop in October 2002 (see below), with Mr. Masoodi, Director of the National Museum of Afghanistan, and Jim Williams from the UNESCO Office in Kabul, provided encouragement as to the availability of necessary documentation, and thus the feasibility of the publication. However, there are still some problems to be resolved - such a proper infrastructure for the deposit of objects that have been identified and are ready to be returned to the country.

In June 2002, the Blue Shield Committee held an Extraordinary Session on the situation in Afghanistan., with participants from UNESCO and the Getty Conservation Institute, amongst others. The participants presented their initiatives undertaken or in progress in the frame of the rehabilitation of the Afghan cultural heritage, and the reconstruction of the Kabul Museum.

The Blue Shield Committee has also issued a press release concerning the situation, to encourage governments having pledged assistance to keep their promises for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Afghanistan's cultural heritage.

1.3. Museums Emergency Programme - Preparedness and Response in Emergency Situations

Together with its international committees ICOM-CC, ICTOP and ICMS, ICOM has launched the Museum Emergency Programme (MEP) to address the international museum community's urgent need for greater awareness, training and support in Emergency Preparedness and response. This programme may be considered in the context of the International Committee of the Blue Shield (ICBS). It aims to promote understanding and awareness of the nature of disasters, and to limit damage and save cultural heritage through preventive conservation measures and rapid intervention.
The Getty Conservation Institute (GCI) and ICCROM are partners in this effort.

The Programme consists of 6 modules and is a long-term programme (2002 - 2007). The first two modules (MODULE 1: SURVEYS, MODULE 2: INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON MOVABLE HERITAGE: VULNERABILITY, DISASTER PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE) have been financed thanks to the sponsorship of the Ministry of the Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.

For the first module -Surveys- a questionnaire has been prepared in English and translated into French and Spanish. It has been sent to about 2000 museum professionals such as the members of the Advisory Committee, the ICOM-CC and the ICMS and to museums or museum professionals and institutions related to in order to identify the persons which have had a direct implication in a catastrophe in a museum, and to collect information about which museums have already been affected by a catastrophe (human or natural); about the already existing institutions/associations operating in the field of emergency preparedness and response; about the programmes and activities already organised or planned with this respect. By the end of March, the ICOM Secretariat had received 140 replies to the questionnaires from 47 countries (1 Pacific, 2 North America, 4 South America, 4 Asia, 10 Africa and 26 Europe). Museums. All of the information contained in these responses is being entered into a special database created for the purpose. In addition, bibliographies and literature such as books, essays and articles, and didactic material have been collected, as well as information on existing web sites on disasters preparedness and response. Some case studies on preparedness and recovery have been identified, as well as persons directly involved in a catastrophe in a museum. By May 2003 the survey analysis will be conducted and a list diffused to the ICOM members (via ICOM's web site and newsletter). Afterward, field visits will be organised in order to collect more direct information and to initiate the basis for the development of training activities and specialised networks at regional level.

The second module -International Conference on movable heritage vulnerability, disaster preparedness and response- is planned to take place the first week of November 2003 in Hyderabad, India. ICOM's Programme Activities Officer and the President of ICOM ASPAC undertook a preparatory mission to Hyderabad in January 2003, to initiate preparations for the Conference with the staff of the Salarjung Museum, and to organise logistics. By May 2003 a preliminary programme and a list of possible participants will be drafted.

1.4. International Committee of the Blue Shield

The following Blue Shield meetings were held during this period:

  • 29 April 2002
    During this meeting it was decided that national committees must be officially recognised and entitled by ICBS to use the name and sign of the Blue Shield, and that during the General Assembly of ICOM in 2004 in Seoul, a special ICBS meeting devoted to the 50th anniversary of the Convention of The Hague will be organised.

  • 6 June 2002, Extraordinary " Afghanistan " Meeting
    Representatives of the four NGOs partners, UNESCO, ICCROM, the Getty Conservation Institute, ICTOP, ICOM-CC and ICMS attended the meeting.
    Participants presented the initiatives undertaken or under process in the frame of the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the Afghan cultural heritage. ICOM could be concerned about the reconstruction of the Kabul National Museum, the storage and the restoration of its collections and those of regional and local museums. Christian Manhart, from the Division of Cultural Heritage of UNESCO, reported on the International Seminar on the Rehabilitation of Afghanistan's Cultural Heritage held in Kabul, 27-29 May 2002.

  • 18 November 2002
    During this meeting, Ross Shimmon, secretary General of IFLA, was appointed as president of the ICBS for the year 2003.
    It was decided that: an official recognition letter signed by the president and the secretary will be addressed to those committees whose statutes meet the criteria on how to establish a National Blue Shield Committee; possible co-operation between the ICBS and the International Federation of the Red Cross will be envisaged.

  • 24 February 2003
    The Polish and the Beninese National Blue Shield Committees have been established and recognised by the ICBS.
    The following statements have been agreed to by the four NGOs and diffused:
    - ICBS - Statement on the international support pledged for the reconstruction of the Cultural Heritage in Afghanistan
    - ICBS - Statement on the Destruction of Cultural Property in the Middle East
    - The ICBS expresses its profound concern about the potential damage to, and destruction of, cultural heritage in the event of war in Iraq

1.5. Workshop on Museums, Intangible Heritage and Globalisation -- Asia Pacific Approaches, and Workshop on the Protection of Cultural Heritage in South Asia, 20 - 24 October 2002, in Shanghai, China

During the past twenty years ICOM has been fostering a more inclusive professional practice in heritage management that brings together tangible and intangible heritage. During the proceedings of the ICOM general assembly in Barcelona, July 2001, several meetings emphasised the need to develop diverse approaches to identify, train and manage resources that are intangible along with tangible resources.

ICOM membership commitment to protecting the vulnerable intangible heritage is so great that the theme of ICOM's General Assembly and General Conference of 2004 is Intangible Heritage. However, it was felt that the current level of professional dialogue needed to be grounded in a regional context of the Asia Pacific. This is even more important in the face of globalisation that poses the greatest threat to the continuity of intangible heritage in diverse cultural situations. It was this concern that led the ICOM Asia Pacific Organisation to identify a focussed workshop on intangible heritage as a preparatory activity, the outcomes of which would inform the ICOM 2004 General Assembly in Seoul.

Thus, from 20 - 24 October 2002, in Shanghai, China, the Asia Pacific Organisation of ICOM (ASPAC), together with the Chinese Society of Museums, the staff of the Shanghai Museum, and the ICOM Secretariat in Paris, organised its Regional Assembly which focussed workshop on Museums, Intangible Heritage and Globalisation. The workshop dealt with both intangible and tangible heritage in a holistic context and considered museums as key vehicles for safeguarding of these resources.

Participants from 27 countries and 7 international organisations worked in 6 different working groups with facilitated practical discussions in workshops. These groups focussed on 6 themes: the delineation and diverse perceptions of intangible heritage; documentation of resources; management challenges for the inclusion of intangible heritage in main stream museum practice; conservation approaches; intangible heritage in interpretation; and cooperation and coordination through networking of professional, community and official bodies.

In addition to discussions based on forty written papers from the participants, the workshop centred on case studies: a presentation of the Kunju opera, declared by UNESCO in the first-released list of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity, as well as a field trip to the regional museum and historic houses in Suzhou town. On the final day, the Shanghai Museum was used as a case study of a big museum that aims to incorporate intangible heritage as an integral part of its museographical practice.

Following the workshop, the final plenary session of the Regional Assembly adopted the Shanghai Charter. The results from the Regional Assembly are: publication of the Shanghai Charter as a guideline document for museums in addressing intangible heritage; publication of the proceedings in English and Chinese; improved regional cooperation and conceptual framework for ICOM 2004; capacity building for participants; and contribution to the International Convention on the Protection of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity that has been mooted by UNESCO.

The participants were mainly members of ICOM and heritage professionals from the Asia Pacific region, UNESCO delegates and national decision-makers who are dealing with intangible heritage. At least two participants from each of the countries of the Asia Pacific Region were sought, and participants from Afghanistan, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Korea, India, Indonesia, Iran, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, New Zealand, Philippines, Samoa, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam and Vanuatu were present. Further present were the Director, and her assistant, of the Intangible Heritage Section of UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, and five members of ASEMUS (Asia Europe Museum co-operation) from the Netherlands, Singapore, Korea, the Philippines and China.

The Chinese Society of Museums paid for about 100 Chinese museum professionals (including from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao) to take part in the Assembly. Altogether 200 people attended the opening session.

Each country of the region was requested to prepare two papers on the theme of the workshop "Museums, Intangible Heritage and Globalisation": one paper on the policies, legal and institutional frameworks for the protection and promotion of intangible heritage in the country of the contributor; and a second paper by a specialist on intangible heritage to provide an in-depth analysis of the heritage management theories of the respective country of the contributor, illustrated with case studies

Each of the ICOM National Committees was invited to facilitate the above-mentioned process for the preparation of papers. A small number of papers was also solicited from countries where there are no National Committees of ICOM. In addition, interested professional and scholars in the field were asked to propose substantive papers which were accepted on the basis of relevance and complementarity with other papers. The papers will be officially published and distributed by ICOM. The Chinese participants also presented papers,

These papers were not presented orally. They were made available in printed form in Chinese and English, and used by the Chair of ICOM-ASPAC to prepare a summary which became the basic working document for the workshops.

Funding for the workshop was provided by: Sida of Sweden, The State Administration of Cultural Heritage in China, The Chinese Society of Museums, ICOM-China, The Shanghai Municipality, The Shanghai Museum.

Key issues and results
The conclusions and recommendations from the Workshop indicate that the concept of Intangible Heritage is new for many in the museum community. Although intangible heritage as a concept is well known, especially in Asia, thinking of it as a general concept for museum work was challenging.

The Results of the workshop were very encouraging and ICOM can look back on a very successful meeting in every aspect

  • The workshop resulted in the Shanghai Charter on Intangible Heritage which is a good basis for the preparation of ICOM 2004. The countries of the region were encouraged to use it as guidelines, and to report on follow-up and progress made at the General Conference.
  • The participation of many ICOM-members offered the opportunity to urge the National Committees to travel in great numbers to Seoul. A large delegation from Korea offered the opportunity to ask questions and give information.
  • We were able to proceed with the consolidation of recent ICOM National Committees and the (re)establishment of others in the Asian region.
  • The involvement of the National Committee of China was very impressive, bringing ICOM in the spotlight in a country with a good membership potential.
  • The participation of the Director of Intangible Heritage of UNESCO offered a unique opportunity to establish a more coherent and closer co-operation with UNESCO on this subject.
  • ICOM-ASPAC has assured its position as a leading organisation of museums and museum-professionals in the region.
  • The presence of the Director of the National Museum of Kabul, Mr. Omarakhan Massoudi, offered the unique opportunity to raise awareness about the situation in Afghanistan among colleagues in the region.
  • Agreements on follow-up activities were signed between ICOM, ICOM-ASPAC and representatives of Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Cambodia and Thailand.

There was excellent press-coverage of the meeting in China.

Parallel meetings
The event afforded the opportunity to organise working sessions with the Asia-Europe Museum Network, ASEMUS, with UNESCO, with the board members of the National Committee of Korea and the representatives of Afghanistan.

ASEMUS, a group of Asian and European museums, funded by ASEAN and the European Union in order to promote co-operation between Asian museums and European museums with important Asian collections, met just prior to the ICOM meeting. This had been decided during an ASEMUS meeting in Leiden, the Netherlands in the spring of 2002 where the Chair of ICOM-ASPAC and the Secretary General of ICOM were present.
It is important to link them up with ICOM- ASPAC because directors of important museums are part of it, the programme is well funded and, most of all, it is a concept that clearly touches on ICOM's activities. Some of the ASEMUS members stayed in Shanghai to participate in the ICOM workshop.
ASEMUS decided to organise an activity during the ICOM 2004 General Conference. One of their projects is a collection of 500 famous works of art on-line. This project could be presented in Seoul.

UNESCO - A meeting with the Director of UNESCO's Intangible Heritage Section was organised to explore further co-operation.. She stressed the importance of the Director General of UNESCO being present at ICOM's General Conference in Seoul.
She was considering a role for ICOM in the evaluation of the UNESCO list of "Masterpieces" of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

ICOM General Conference - Seoul, Korea 2004. A large Korean delegation of six people was present in Shanghai. It gave our Korean colleagues the opportunity to reflect upon the content of the chosen theme and discuss it with the various delegates. The ICOM Secretariat staff the Chair of ICOM-ASPAC had a meeting with the Korean delegation on the preparation of the 2004 General Conference.

Afghanistan - A special meeting with the director of the National Museum in Kabul, Mr. Masoudi, and the UNESCO Representative in Kabul was organised. They gave an overview of the actual situation of the museum in Kabul and other museums in Afghanistan, such as the Museum of Ethnology.
A document on the situation of the National Museum in Afghanistan was distributed and the participants of the ICOM ASPAC workshop adopted an appeal to assist the National Museum

1.6. Workshop on the Protection of Cultural Heritage in South Asia

A worshop s planned to be held in Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka, from 24 to 29 August 2003. In the wake of the success of the Workshop on the same subject for Southeast Asia organised in Hanoi, Vietnam, in April 2001, the need has been felt to provide assistance to the South Asian region particularly affected by theft and looting, to initiate heritage protection actions for the museum professionals of the region and to inform people of the efforts the professionals of this region are undertaking. Thus, in close collaboration with ICOM-ASPAC and the ICOM National Committee of Sri Lanka, a five-day workshop is being organised for professionals (heritage, police, customs, ministries ...) from the entire South Asian region and other countries of the world. The overall aim of the workshop is to establish a new approach to the problems by increasing regional co-operation, and developing new strategies to sensitise decision makers, police and customs, local populations and the general public world-wide.

In January 2003, the Chair of ICOM-ASPAC and ICOM's Programme Activities Officer travelled to Sri Lanka to meet with the members of ICOM Sri Lanka, the staff of the Polonnaruwa Museum and the University Department of Archaeology, for the organisation of the workshop. They also visited and retained the necessary infastructures (meeting rooms, welcome services, hotels, transportation, travel agencies....).

The programme will consist in plenary sessions, working group sessions, a field trip study session, and a special session devoted to Object ID.

OBJECTIVE 2: ICOM advances the sharing of professional knowledge and museum practice internationally through mutual assistance, and actively encourages new models of collaboration

2.1. The Museum Forum

Community involvement in Conservation, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 23-27 September 2002

The 13th Triennial Meeting of ICOM's Conservation Committee was held from 22 to 27 September, 2002 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It was the first time that ICOM-CC had met in Latin America.

At the Rio Meeting, the ICOM Secretariat, together with ICOM-CC initiated a schema to integrate the regular programme with the support of, and the knowledge and skills of local communities of Latin America in the field of conservation. The importance of this local involvement cannot be undermined. It is vital that the initiative receives input from the people living and working in the area who can provide valuable insight into specific issues and enable adaptation to local realities and needs. Thus a Museum Forum was organised on the third day of the Forum, with the objective to raise awareness and encourage collaboration among conservation professionals and local communities in order to preserve Latin American cultural heritage in the respect of traditional techniques and methodologies concerning conservation.

The participants invited to the Museum Forum were able to participate actively in the plenary sessions and in the working groups throughout the entire Meeting, in order to contribute to the discussion with their specific knowledge and to raise awareness of the role of conservation and the needs of their region in this domain. Some local decision makers and funding agencies also attended the Meeting in order to be informed on the needs of the region in the field of conservation and with a view to facilitating the follow up activities identified.
The Getty Grant Program provided funds to cover the participation costs of conservation professionals from Latin America, sub-Saharan and North Africa, Eastern Europe, Asia and the Pacific Islands. UNESCO provided additional funding for three participants from Central America.

The technical and scientific work of preparation was carried out in collaboration with ICOM's National Committee of Brazil, ICOM's Regional Organisaiton for Latin America and the Caribbean, and the representative of ICOM-CC for the local organisation of the 13th Triennial Meeting of ICOM-CC.

Prior to the conference, possible participants underwent a selection process. They were requested to send a paper on their special projects concerning the theme of the Museum Forum-Community Involvement in Conservation -- to the ICOM Secretariat, in Paris. The final selection of participants was made in accordance with the interest and pertinence of these projects, and the names were submitted to the Getty Grant Program for approval before sending the invitations. The papers were distributed to all the participants in the Forum to fuel the discussions.

The Museum Forum: Community Involvement in Conservation took place on Wednesday, the third day of ICOM-CC's Triennial Meeting. It was composed of a morning plenary session and afternoon working group sessions, with simultaneous interpretation in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese. The participants presented their special projects and case studies on the theme of community involvement in conservation, with videos and power point presentations. This was a very lively session that provoked great interest.

In the afternoon, the participants attended one of the two workshops for which they had signed up at registration, one on "Interaction between museums and local communities", and the other on "Community involvement in conservation issues".

International exchange was a vital component of the Museum Forum. Conservation professionals, decision makers and local communities from Latin America exchanged experiences and case studies. Key resource persons highlighted their valuable experience in the field of traditional techniques and conservation methodologies, and the participation of local community representatives from Africa, Asia, Pacific, North America and Europe provided a more intense exchange of experiences.

This activity has been instrumental in developing and strengthening an international network of Latin American conservation professionals and local community representatives involved in conservation issues. Not only has it provided new possibilities of collaboration, between conservation professionals and local communities, in the research field of conservation of cultural heritage and in the development of common projects, it has also fostered a new participatory role of the local communities in the decision-making process concerning the conservation of cultural heritage.

The Convenio Andrés Bello (a private non-profit Institution based in Bogota, which is very active with regard to Latin-American communities Headquarters in Bogota, Colombia) has provided funds for the production of a publication with the written contributions to the Museum Forum and papers presented in the plenary sessions of the Triennial Meeting of ICOM-CC. The papers will be translated into English and/or Spanish and distributed to the bursaries and targeted institutions.

2.2. Collaboration with sister organisations on the African continent

2.2.1. AFRICOM

The Programme Activities Sector continues to remain in close contact with the AFRICOM Headquarters in Nairobi. It is also attempting to assist in raising funds for AFRICOM's General Assembly to be held in September 2003.

2.2.2. Development of the Regional Training Centre for Museology and Conservation of the Nubia Museum

Training Needs Assessment
In the context of the establishment of a Regional Museology Training Centre at the Nubia Museum, and under contract with UNESCO, ICOM sent a questionnaire to the Arab States and the African countries to assess their training needs For this, ICOM collaborated with the Programme for Museum Development in Africa (PMDA) which shared the findings of the questionnaire it had sent to English-speaking African countries. AFRICOM distributed the ICOM questionnaires for the French-speaking African countries. At the same time, curricula vitae of competent persons who could be called upon for contractual services were also requested. All persons and institutions replying to the questionnaire will receive the results of the survey, which will be shared with the PMDA and the Ecole de Patrimoine Africain in Benin.

With the information gathered from the responses to the questionnaire, a database on the general situation of museums in the regions and their training needs was established in view of setting up and providing appropriate training programmes, and a detailed training programme will be developed and proposed to UNESCO and the Executive Committee for the Egyptian museums.

Provision of documentation and equipment
In order to develop the documentation centre of the Nubia Mueum into an authentic functional Research Centre, ICOM, under contract with UNESCO, was requested to provide them with publications, and translations of important publications into Arabic, and to advise on necessary additional equipment and materials.

The equipment was selected and costed, and will be purchased in Cairo. The publications have been purchased and shipped to the Museum, and pertinent publications are currently being translated into Arabic.

OBJECTIVE 3: ICOM achieves a dynamic, supple and consistent framework for communications and advocacy on behalf of museums internationally

On 2 September 2002, the President of ICOM and the Director-General of ALECSO (The Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organisation), signed a framework agreement concerning museums and heritage institutions in Arab countries. Thus, ICOM and ALECSO have agreed to work closely together and to draft joint plans of action, including projects which are already part of either organisation's programmes or have been allocated funding by one or the other organisation.

In this context, the Programme Activities Sector has been working with ICOM ARAB to prepare a programme containing several activities to present to funding institutions for support. This programme contains the project for the publication of 100 Missing Objects. Looting in the Arab States, and Workshops for the Standardisation of Inventories.

The Sector has also prepared the following programmes and projects and submitted them to funding institutions:
-Project on the Use of New Technologies for Museums in the Pacific Islands Region, Samoa, July 2004.
-a Regional Workshop on Museums, Heritage Tourism and Capacity Building for the Southeast Asian region, to be held concurrently in Laos and Cambodia, February 2005.
-a Capacity Building Workshop on the Documentation of Traditional Knowledge: Museums and Intangible Natural Heritage, Mysore, South India, February 2006;


The mission of the Service is to:

  • Promote the organisation within the museum community as well as among partners of ICOM.
  • Support the activities of ICOM in general, and participate in awareness-raising campaigns and the fight against illicit traffic in particular.
  • Disseminate information inside and outside the organisation.
  • Develop and maintain information tools and institutional communications.
  • Manage and distribute the publications of the Secretariat and assist in creating and producing the publications of the Committees
Human resources:
The team is composed of three people:
  • The Head of the team: Valérie Jullien
  • An Editorial assistant: Saskia Brown
  • An Internet assistant: Carla Bonomi

The team was assisted by temporary staff during the period under review (March 2002 to April 2003). The following persons contributed to the activities of the department:Caroline Taylor (Study Series, Code of Professional Ethics) ; Aurèlie Duvernois (bibliographical research for ICOM News) ; Alexis Swartz (Latin American Red List) ; Rosemarie Barramientos (Latin American Red List)

Financial Resources

  • Promotional Operations: An operational budget for regular activities is allocated every year, covering, in particular,
    - the production or reproduction of promotional and institutional documents (leaflets, brochures, reports, etc).
    - the International Museum Day.
    There is no specific budget devoted to public relations for the promotion of occasional activities of the organisation. These activities are tied to fundraising and the activities of the Programme Service.
  • Publications: The budget covers the production and distribution of ICOM News and the Study Series. Non-regular publications are financed by fundraising operations.
  • Electronic Operations and the Internet Site: The budget only takes the running expenses into account (server, maintenance, etc).

Collaboration with the other Services of the Secretariat
The Communication/Publication Service collaborates closely with all the other sectors of the Secretariat. It develops joint activities with the Information Centre, the Programme Activities Service and the Membership Service.

OBJECTIVE 1: ICOM is recognised as the international leader in the museum field, and a respected voice on issues affecting protection and conservation of the world's cultural and natural heritage

1.1.Heightening awareness of the need to protect world heritage and to fight against the illicit traffic of cultural property

  • Looting in Europe: Restitution
    Two objects published in this book have been found (one French object and the other Italian). A press release was issued to publicise the return of each of these objects. The aim of such press releases is to keep members and the press informed of the success of the series "One Hundred Missing Objects", as well as the action taken by ICOM in this field. But they also serve to highlight ICOM's stand on the restitution of objects and the ethical aspect of acquisitions. A total of four objects have been returned thanks to Looting in Europe.

  • Looting in Angkor: Restitution by the Honolulu Academy of Art
    Published in 1994, Looting in Angkor has led to the return of numerous objects originating from the site of Angkor. The Honolulu Academy of Art returned two objects to Cambodia in April 2002. An official restitution ceremony was organised, attended by the President of ICOM. Furthermore, a representative of the Honolulu Academy of Art was invited to take part in the annual AAM/ICOM meeting held in Dallas in May 2002 to talk about this restitution and to draw the attention of American members to ICOM's action in this area.

  • Preparation of the Red List File for Latin America
    Following the Bogota Conference (April 2002) on the protection of heritage in Latin America, organised by ICOM in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture of Colombia, museum and heritage experts from Latin America, North America and Europe drew up a Red List of cultural objects particularly at risk from looting and theft. This list contains 28 categories of objects belonging to the pre-Colombian period and Latin American colonial heritage.

    The Communication Service is responsible for preparing the file for this new Red List, which will be produced on the same basis as the one published for Africa, and it will also handle its distribution. This project is financed by the Dutch government, the Prince Claus Foundation and the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and will be completed by the end of 2003.
    The Service is collaborating closely with an Editorial Committee composed of participants in the Bogota Conference.

    The project will be implemented in four phases:
    1: Revision and completion of the List compiled in Bogota. After the Conference in Colombia the Editorial Committee revised and finalised the list drawn up in Bogota (for instance, by ensuring that the terminology is consistent and by reorganising the various categories). The revised list was published in ICOM News (1/2003) and on the Web site at http://icom.museum/redlist_latina_eng.html.
    2: Collection of information. In order to proceed with collecting information for each of the categories (photo, description, legislation), questionnaires were sent to museums and resource persons nominated in Bogota and entrusted with supplying information.
    3: Drawing up data sheets for each category and preparation of the file.
    4: International communication and dissemination campaign.

    Phases 1 and 2 were completed on the date when this report was written. Phase 3 will start at the beginning of April 2003. A Latin American heritage specialist will be recruited to write and edit the Red List. A meeting with the Editorial Committee will be organised in summer 2003 for the purpose of approving the data sheets.

  • Other matters
    ICOM's institutional communication tools (ICOM News, the Web site and ICOM-L) contribute to disseminating information on the protection of heritage in general and ICOM's activities in this area in particular. ICOM makes full use of these tools to publish information about these issues and to give its partners and members regular opportunities to disseminate their own information.

    To achieve this:
    A heading entitled "Heritage in Danger" is published on the back cover of ICOM News. The following topics were covered:
    N° 3/2002: Khmer Heritage
    N° 4/2002: Archaeological Sites in the USA
    N° 1/2003: Byzantine Ecclesiastical and Ritual Ethnological Materials from Cyprus
    N° 2/2003: "Combating the Slow Death of Paper"
    The Web site: Regular contributions are made to the pages devoted to illicit traffic of cultural property. A list of organisations, Web sites and other resources useful for the fight against the illicit traffic of cultural property were created recently (http://icom.museum/traffic_links.html).
The Communication Service serves as a focal point for the press on such questions. It is also frequently approached by ICOM's Committees and members, as well as by other institutions, for information on all questions concerning the fight against illicit traffic of cultural property.

OBJECTIVE 2: ICOM advances the sharing of professional knowledge and museum practice internationally through mutual assistance, and actively encourages new models of collaboration.

2.1. Protection of Heritage

In order to reinforce its efforts to protect heritage, ICOM forges close collaborative ties with other institutions operating in this area.

  • UNESCO Regional Conference on illicit traffic of cultural property, 17 to 20 September 2002, Moscow, Federation of Russia
    This Conference, organised in collaboration with ICOM-Russia, was attended by about 80 participants from countries belonging to the Community of Independent States (CIS) and the Baltic. It was attended by heads of national departments or institutions responsible for national culture and heritage. A few representatives from Customs Services and Police Forces were also present. A group of delegates from international or national organisations specialised in the field of trafficking also took part in the meeting.

    In addition to collaboration with ICOM-Russia, the ICOM Secretariat (Valérie Jullien) was invited to participate in this Conference and to present a paper at the plenary session on the action taken by ICOM to fight against illicit traffic. In view of the fact that one of the themes of the meeting was the protection of collections, the ICOM Secretariat felt it was useful for the Chairperson of the ICOM International Committee for Security, Mr. Pavel Jirasek (Czech Republic), to participate. It is important for ICOM's experts to be involved in such meetings as it gives them an opportunity to provide practical and concrete information and, in this way, promote the work of the International Committees. Mr. Jirasek conducted the Working Group on security of collections. Mr. Jirasek's participation was the result of the Frame Agreement with UNESCO, signed in 2002. The travel expenses and per diem for Mr. JIRASEK were covered by the budget of this Frame Agreement.

  • Leiden Network, 28 and 29 September 2002, Cambridge, UK
    As a member of the Leiden Network, ICOM attended the annual meeting of this group, composed of European professionals and researchers involved in the fight against illicit traffic. The goal was to promote ethical standards and practices and to encourage the ratification of international legal instruments.

  • Interpol
    ICOM participated in the 5th International Colloquium on the theft and traffic of cultural property, which was held in Lyons in October 2002, and presented a paper at the session. Furthermore, Interpol agreed to grant a 20% reduction to ICOM members on the subscription price of the Interpol CD-ROM of stolen objects.

  • Belgian Senate
    ICOM took part in the Colloquium on the 1970 UNESCO Convention hosted by the Belgian Senate in January 2003. This event was organised within the framework of the future ratification by Belgium of the 1970 Convention, which is expected to occur in the course of 2003.

  • International Museum Day 2003: "Museum and Friends"
    The Advisory Committee decided that the theme of the International Museum Day for the year 2003 would be "Museums and Friends". To prepare for this special day and its theme, the Communication Service (in particular Saskia Brown, editor of ICOM News) worked in close collaboration with the World Federation of Friends of Museums (WFFM), an active partner of ICOM.
    The contents of number 4/2002 of ICOM News, devoted to this topic, was written in collaboration with the General Secretariat of WFFM. Several articles were published describing the activities of WFFM, the various roles and objectives of "friends of museums", and also on activities carried out by museums thanks to support from such associations.
    A press release on this International Day was prepared by the Secretariat, and it was also circulated by WFFM.

2.2. Dissemination and sharing of knowledge

  • ICOM News
    • Thematic file "Focus"
      The main communication linkage between ICOM and its members is ICOM News. Its purpose is to report on the activities of the organisation and its bodies. Every issue has a thematic file entitled "Focus" dealing with one of the topics discussed within the organisation or related to museum developments. These files, put together in collaboration with the Information Centre or the ICOM Committees concerned, make it possible to circulate the ideas, experiences and analyses of museum experts to all ICOM members. The subjects covered during this period were:

      - Tax Incentives (n° 3/2002)
      - Friends of Museums (n° 4/2002)
      - Deaccessioning (n° 1/2003)
      - Conservation (n°2/2003)

      In order to make these themes available to the largest public possible and to treat them more extensively, these files can also be consulted in a fuller and longer version on the ICOM web site.


  • Museums of the World
    The section on "Museums of the World" in ICOM News introduces museum institutions all over the world. It is now organised according to types of museums, professional fields of specialisation or geographic areas. This section is prepared jointly with an International Committee or a Specialised Organisation.
    - Central European Museums (n° 3/2002)
    - Museums and Friends: Examples of Initiatives (n° 4/2002)
    - Children's Museums (n° 1/2003)
    - Conservation Institutes (n° 2/2003)

  • Study Series
    The Study Series was launched in 1995 in order to disseminate the work carried out by the International Committees to all members of ICOM. The Study Series, now a trilingual publication, reviews the state of knowledge of a given discipline and sheds light on the discussions undertaken by the Committees and their working groups. The Study Series is published on the request of the International Committees, which are responsible for their scientific editing. The Study published during the period under review was devoted to the UMAC Committee (April 2003).

  • Translation and reproduction of publications
    With a view to sharing knowledge more effectively, the Service responds to requests for permission to translate or re-publish ICOM's publications:
    - Translation: ICMS Museum Security and Protection: translation into Italian
    - Reproduction: several speeches by participants in the General Conference of Barcelona (2001), published in issue 3/2001 of ICOM News, were reproduced in various publications. Excerpts from ICOM News relating to the topic of friends of museums were also reproduced.

  • Distribution of publications and updating of the ICOM list of publications
    With a view to optimising the distribution of ICOM publications, the Communication Service completely revised and updated the list of publications for sale. This list contains over one hundred works produced by the ICOM Committees and the Secretariat. These works are circulated through ICOM's distribution network, by the Committees or by members themselves. Thanks to this operation, it was possible to amend the addresses of the various distributors and the sales prices, and to add the titles of new publications. This updated list can now be consulted on the ICOM web site. A paper version is currently being prepared and will be sent to new members.

  • Providing access to professional information: the ICOM Web site
    In addition to the pages describing ICOM, how it functions, and its Committees, the objective of the Web site is to provide professional information about museums. It also has links with other platforms, sites and professional associations concerning museums. The ICOM site has developed considerably in the past two years, and many new sections and pages have been added to it. Updating these new pages entails a lot of work, which is carried out at regular intervals by our Service. The following sections were created during this period:

    In the section about the UNESCO-ICOM Information Centre:
    Museum directory (http://icom.museum/museum_directories.html) : We listed the most recent museum directories available on the market, as well as the titles of directories that belong to the Centre's collections and which are perhaps no longer available. We also indicated a number of directories that can be consulted on the web.

    On-line versions (PDF format) of Nos. 1, 2, 3, 5 and 7 of the Study Series (http://icom.museum/studse.html)

    In the section about ICOM Pages on the various Working Groups of the Executive Council were created (http://icom.museum/taskforce.html)
    Several pages have been added to the section on the decision-making bodies, especially the ICOM Grants for the year 2004, the Executive Council elections, etc.(http://icom.museum/policymakingbodies.html)

    In the Membership section: Membership forms (International Committees and individual members) can now be downloaded from our site.

    In the Activities section: A section on the activities of the Secretariat has been enriched with the addition of new pages. New pages have been expanded, for example a page on useful links concerning the fight against illicit traffic or the Latin American Red List.

    Carla Bonomi, the Internet Assistant of the Communication Service and Editor of the Web site, participated in the "Museum and the Web" Conference, which was held in Charlotte, United States, in March 2003. This enabled her to keep abreast with developments in the use of Internet.

  • Special Session of the Executive Council on "Underwater Heritage"
    On the occasion of the Executive Council held in June 2002, a new information session was organised on topical subjects relating to museums and heritage. The first session was devoted to the new Convention on the Protection of Underwater Heritage. It was organised in collaboration with ICOMOS and ICMM (International Congress on Marine Museums). During two and a half hours, three speakers (Mr. Carducci from UNESCO, Mr. Le Contre-Amiral Georges Prud'homme, Curator, Musée National de la Marine, Paris, France, and Mr. Thijs Maarleveld, ICOMOS-ICUCH) presented this new Convention, together with its advantages and application by museums. A cocktail was held after the meeting at the Musée de la Marine in Paris. Within the framework of this session, details of this Convention were also published in ICOM News.

    The Communication Service is involved in Musedoma activities, especially the promotion of the .museum domain. Information is available on the Web site and articles have been published in ICOM News. We also circulate press releases about MuseDoma.

    As part of the "musEnic" project (The Music Network Information Centre), established to promote .museum in European Union countries, the Communication Service (V. Jullien and C. Bonomi) attended a meeting to launch this project in Stockholm in July 2002. At the end of this meeting, Valérie Jullien and Manus Brinkman drew up a communication strategy for this project.

    Carla Bonomi participated in the annual ICOM-France meeting during which she made a presentation on .museum. An information file in French was also prepared.

OBJECTIVE 3: ICOM achieves a dynamic, supple and consistent framework for communications and advocacy on behalf of museums internationally

3.1. Communication Policy

A document on ICOM's communication policy (including publications) was submitted to the Executive Council in July 2001. The document was revised in November 2002 and distributed to the Executive Council in December 2002.

3.2. Utilisation of languages

It should be noted that following the decisions taken by the General Assembly in July 2001, the Study Series is now also published in Spanish (the layout has therefore been slightly modified). Articles and summaries of articles were published in numbers 10 (ICTOP) and 11 (UMAC).

3.3. Information media and communication tools

  • Institutional information tool: "Welcome Brochure"
    The "Welcome Brochure" was completely updated and reprinted, in collaboration with the Membership Service.

  • Press relations
    The Service replies to questions from journalists, organises interviews and collects press clippings. The following press releases were issued to promote the organisation's activities:
    - Museums and Friends, International Museum Day 2003
    - Restitution of Cultural Heritage, 13 December 2002

  • Participation in conferences
    The Service represented ICOM at many meetings and disseminated recent information about ICOM (see also, Objetive 2, point 1). In this context, Manus Brinkman and Valérie Jullien participated in the annual AAM Conference in Dallas (May 2002). This provided an opportunity to convey information about ICOM and to make members of the American Committee aware of the need to take action to curb the declining number of members in the US. Following this meeting, the first step taken by the Committee was to separate membership of AAM from that of the American Committee. The AAM/ICOM Web site was also reorganised and expanded.

  • ICOM-L and Adcom-L
    The two distribution lists of ICOM are used regularly by the Communication Service and the administrative service of the ICOM Secretariat to circulate institutional information. The Service also informs members on how to use these lists to convey information about their Committees or to take part in the discussions of the organisation. These lists, which were previously handled by Cary Karp, are now under the responsibility of the ICOM Secretariat. Carla Bonomi (Internet Assistant) is in charge of managing these lists.

  • The ICOM Web site
    The Web site has become a vital tool for communication and information dissemination for the organisation. It is also an instrument enabling members of ICOM and the chairpersons of Committees to participate actively in the life of the organisation. At present, the site provides four major types of information (See also Objective 2, Section 3).
    -Institutional information on the organisation and its activities.
    - Administrative information (agendas and reports of executive or advisory meetings).
    - Information for members (advantages, membership forms, lists of Committees and Chairpersons, links to the sites of Committees)
    - Professional information.

    Awareness of members on the use of the Web site
    Members are regularly informed of new pages on the Web site through ICOM News and the ICOM-L list.

    Electronic directory of members
    The Communication Service joined the Membership Service and General Secretariat in investigating the possibility of putting the directory of ICOM members on line (with reserved access). The objective of this service would be to facilitate an exchange of information and contacts between members, thus offering a new advantage. Placing this directory of members on line could eventually make it easier for the ICOM Committees and the Secretariat staff to handle membership. A study was undertaken by a consultant and a budget drawn up, which was submitted to the Executive Council. Unfortunately the financial situation of ICOM (particularly because of the new expenses generated by the transfer of offices) does not permit the financing of this project (decision taken by the Executive Council).

  • International Museum Day 2002
    As in past years, the report of activities for 2002 was published in ICOM News and on the Web site. For the year 2003, "Museums and Friends" was the subject of Focus in ICOM News, published in n° 4/2002 and accompanied by a bibliography. A fuller version of this file is also available on the ICOM Web site. At the same time, a press release was circulated to all members of the Advisory Committee with a view to mobilising them for the celebrations of this special day.

  • Promotion of the Code of Ethics
    Printing and distribution of the revised version

    The new version of the ICOM Code of Ethics for Museums was printed in June 2002. In addition to the changes made to the original text, the new Code is available in a bilingual English/French version and in a separate Spanish edition. It includes a glossary of the major themes and an annex. In order to ensure that the Code has a strong impact and to turn it into a reference document for ICOM and the profession as a whole, its graphic form was changed and it is now published separately from the Statutes. The new Code was sent to ICOM members all over the world, as well as to new members. It is also on sale through the ICOM network of distributors.

    In order to facilitate the publication of translations into other languages by National Committees, electronic versions of the graphic layouts have been created and are at the disposal of the Committees. Several translations are currently under way (Germany, Laos, Romania, Finland and Norway).


Space and collections of the Centre

The period from mid-July 2002 until March 2003 was marked by the need to prepare for moving the collections to Building Vbis reserved by UNESCO for NGOs. For this reason, the Information Centre was closed to the public from July 2002 to March 2003. In view of the fact that the space allocated to ICOM is less than what it previously had at its disposal in the premises located in Rue Miollis, it was necessary to reduce ICOM's volume of documentation and archives. The staff of the Centre therefore proceeded with sorting out the documents contained in the suspended files. Part of this documentation will be sent to the Direction des Musées de France, which is responsible for the collection of monographs and periodicals that have been deposited at its Documentation Centre since 1995. For the same reason, the Centre returned to the editorial office of Museum International the collection of old photographs published in its magazine.

Requests, consultations and information services

The major role of the Information Centre is to provide information about the activities and publications of ICOM. Since the staff assigned to the Centre is very small (one person), information services by telephone and by correspondence (letters, faxes and e-mail messages) are now reserved exclusively for members of ICOM, who also have priority for on-the-spot access. However, in view of the difficulty of finding ICOM documents in other libraries, the Centre is open by appointment to non-members from Monday to Thursday, between 2 p.m. and 5.30 p.m. ICOM members and UNESCO staff may consult the documents of the Centre in the mornings from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., with the prior agreement of the staff.

In 2002, the Centre replied to 201 requests for information sent by post, fax or e-mail, and it received 41 visitors. From January to March 2003, the Centre replied to 33 information requests, most of which were received by e-mail, on-the-spot consultations having been suspended during that period. The fall in the number of visitors in 2002 can be explained by the fact the Centre was either closed to the public or access limited for most of the year due to the reviewing and packing of the collections in preparation for the transfer of the Secretariat and its collections, which took place in mid-February 2003.

The Centre is in charge of collecting information on the annual meetings of the ICOM Committees for inclusion in the calendar published in ICOM News and on the Web site.

OBJECTIVE 1, (point 11)

To identify and evaluate Web sites

Contribution of the Centre to the ICOM Web Site
Thanks to help from Carla Bononi, the Web Assistant, in the course of the year 2002, the Centre was able to continue expanding the information included under the Information Centre heading. The purpose of this operation was to provide better services for both the members of ICOM and the general public, and to reply to questions occasionally submitted to the Centre.

The new items that can be consulted on-line are :
- List of directories of museums, especially those that can be consulted through Internet.
- Bibliographies on the theme of the International Museum Day.
- Bibliographies with comments prepared by the Centre since 2002 for ICOM News (the themes covered : Museums and Globalisation, Museum Autonomy, Tax Incentives, Friends of Museums, Deaccessioning).
- The list and texts of norms and directives of museums recommended by ICOM, in particular the ICOM directives for drawing up a loan agreement (1974).

OBJECTIVE 2, (point 7)

To publicise ICOM's publications
The Centre lists in ICOM News the publications of the Secretariat, the National and International Committees and the Affiliated Organisations, together with a summary of the titles and the addresses from where they can be ordered. The publications for sale are also included in the catalogue of ICOM's publications available on the Web site at http://icom.museum/publications.html

Committees are reminded not to forget to send the Centre a copy of their publications (newsletters, minutes of meetings, general works, directory, brochure, etc).


Updated: 11 July 2005