ICOM International Committee for museum management

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September 10, 2023

INTERCOM Chair took part in the General Assembly of ICOMOS Network


These words came from the director of UNESCO World Heritage Centre, Lazare Eloundou Assomo, addressing the ICOMOS participants at the General Assembly 2023 organized in Sydney Australia.  They confirm that INTERCOM has made a right choice when recently focusing on leadership and management in the global context of museum work. INTERCOM Chair Goranka Horjan, who is also ICOMOS Croatia board member, stresses that good management is a crucial to link for cooperation between the organizations and museums are institutions in which they are employed on every day basis. In this way they can continue the mission to  shape better future for heritage in its widest sense  – tangible and intangible.

By learning from discussions and taking the ICOMOS recommendation in the work, INTERCOM may profit a lot from this well of expertise. This is a crucial step forward into the developing effective strategies for museum management and leadership. In order to sum up the messages from the conference, everything revolves around the question whether we will support sustainable elements or perish in contributing to further conflicts and overuse of resources. Sensitive analyses may reveal positive and negative tunes when addressing important issues making it obvious that without ethical background management cannot offer good solutions. To add on this INTERCOM has initiated talks with the ICOM standing committee, Ethics Committee, in order to contribute to the ethical aspects of management and governance.

As the new ICOMOS charter for cultural tourism stresses “there is a need and opportunity to recalibrate the perpetual economic growth-based approach to tourism, recognizing and mitigating its unsustainable aspects”, museums should also be able to recognize the need for change and ask themselves to what future they would like to contribute to. In this sense, the “Four R Panels” (resilience, responsibility, rights and relationships) warned us of the dangers that we can face when people’s rights are not respected and when proper relationships are not built. The conference pointed out the whole series of links between cultural heritage with questions about the responsibility in order to enable inclusive approach and careful management of assets and resources for the common good.  We need to build resilience in order to make cultural and natural heritage accessible in a sustainable way otherwise they will stay vulnerable and open to threats which are real and fast approaching. Understanding is not sufficient; we have to be active as agents of change. Therefor the next INTERCOM conference urges professionals into action targeting one of the alarming themes dominating the work of both international organizations, i.e., climate change.

There is also a hope that ICOMOS and ICOM will support each other on a greater scale since both organizations share common values and priorities.

INTERCOM Chair Goranka Horjan and the President of ICOMOS Teresa Patricio