ICOM International Committee for museum management

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May 3, 2020


Webinar for Croatian Museum Decision Makers “Learning from Disasters and Pandemics”

4 and 5 May 2020

The possibility that your city could face multiple hazards simultaneously has in these unprecedented times become an unfortunate reality for Zagreb, Croatia. The ongoing COVID-19 emergency in combination with the risk of an earthquake causing damage to life and property including cultural heritage, requires informed actions and responses. It also creates numerous challenges for decision makers and requires specific leadership skills and knowledge.

With the aim of developing a common action plan and identifying priorities to manage the current crisis, ICCROM and INTERCOM in partnership with UNESCO, ICOM Croatia, the Museum Documentation Centre and Ethnographic Museum in Zagreb, are organising a two-day online workshop on “Learning from Disasters and Pandemics” , on 4 and 5 May 2020.

Building on the conclusions of the Ministerial Conference on Fostering European Cooperation for Cultural Heritage at Risk, held in Dubrovnik during the Croatia’s EU presidency from 26 to 27 February 2020, this workshop will involve museum directors and decision makers in Croatia. The aim is to stimulate discussion on how to manage effectively the twin emergencies induced by the earthquake on 23 March 2020 and the COVID-19 outbreak.

Organised within the framework of ICCROM’s First Aid and Resilience (FAR ) programme, this initiative aims to enhance the abilities of museum leaders to make informed decisions in times of crisis, and will enable them to identify all possible hazards, existing capacities, as well as effective responses. The workshop will therefore feature dedicated discussions on leadership and risk management in times of crises (see programme), a topic that is high on the INTERCOM agenda in a global research project starting in 2020.

Ongoing maintenance and preventive care are crucial for effective disaster risk management. To achieve this, museums require adequate resources to mitigate risks to their buildings and collections. The current pandemic and the experience of managing an earthquake induced emergency have valuable insights to offer. The Croatian recent experience in having multiple disasters striking going on at the same time imposes new challenges for leadership in crises.

Programme link below: Learning from Disasters and Pandemics- PROGRAMME