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The International Council on Museums (ICOM) announces alternative definition of museums

The International Council on Museums (ICOM) on Thursday announced an alternative definition of museums, changing the one it had adopted in 2007.

art-and-culture Updated: Jul 26, 2019 16:30 IST
Indo Asian News Service
Indo Asian News Service
Indo Asian News Service
The International Council on Museums announces alternative definition of museums.
The International Council on Museums announces alternative definition of museums.(@iconofficiel/Twitter)
         

The International Council on Museums (ICOM) on Thursday announced an alternative definition of museums, changing the one it had adopted in 2007.

“Museums are democratising, inclusive and polyphonic spaces for critical dialogue about the pasts and the futures.

 

“Acknowledging and addressing the conflicts and challenges of the present, they hold artefacts and specimens in trust for society, safeguard diverse memories for future generations and guarantee equal rights and equal access to heritage for all people,” reads the new ICOM definition.

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It further adds that museums are not-for-profit.

“They are participatory and transparent, and work in active partnership with and for diverse communities to collect, preserve, research, interpret, exhibit, and enhance understandings of the world, aiming to contribute to human dignity and social justice, global equality and planetary well-being.”

The change reflects the radical changes museums have undergone over years.

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The 1946 established global organisation dedicated to museums and museum professionals had, in 2007, defined a museum space as a “non-profit, permanent institution in the service of society and its development, open to the public, which acquires, conserves, researches, communicates and exhibits the tangible and intangible heritage of humanity and its environment for the purposes of education, study and enjoyment”.

ICOM definitions and standards are taken as reference points in the international museum community.

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This new definition has been selected by the ICOM executive board to undergo a vote at its general assembly conference in Japan in September.

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)

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First Published: Jul 26, 2019 16:24 IST