ICOM Annual Report 2015


2015, a year for the record books

Der neue ICOM ANNUAL REPORT für 2015 ist da!


36,678 ICOM members in 2015 (including the members of the ICOM foundation), +1.25% membership growth compared to 2014, +14% more members registered with International Committees, 215 new institutional members, 120 National Committees, members present in 138 countries and territories, and 300+ conference organised by different committees. Some key figures to be found out in ICOM's 2015 Activity Report as well as the range of activities of the ICOM network from training, conferences, publications to public advocacy and knowledge sharing.


Prof. Dr Hans-Martin Hinz, ICOM President
Prof. Dr Anne-Catherine Robert-Hauglustaine, ICOM Director General


Every year in the life of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) sees its own particular accomplishments, challenges and surprises, and 2015 was no exception. Heralding celebrations of the organisation’s 70th anniversary in 2016, the year past saw an impressive number of pursuits come to fruition for ICOM on behalf of the global museum and heritage community.


Seven decades on, complacency has no place in our dynamic network of individuals and institutions, spanning 36,000+ members in 138 countries. 2015 saw renewed discussion on the definition of museum, an ever-changing concept that ICOM has sought to update over the years to reflect societal transformations, and which must now take into account the advent of the digital age, with the new practices and audiences that it entails. This went hand in hand with intensive discussions on updating the ICOM Statutes and developing a new Strategic Plan for 2016- 2022. The museums of today are spaces for educating and sharing information, conversing on culture, history and nature, and preserving and protecting heritage. They ways in which they – you – are framing and conducting these activities, the new practices and experiences that are emerging in third-millennium museums, all bode well for the future of our profession.


ICOM’s emphasis on capacity-building is a vital means of ensuring this future, and initiatives continued to thrive in 2015: the ICOM International Training Centre (ITC) held its fourth and fifth sessions at the Palace Museum in Beijing, China, in April and November 2015, devoted to “Exhibitions in Museums” and “The Engaging Museum”, respectively, while an ITC special training workshop was held in Arusha, Tanzania in August-September 2015. These programmes allow young and midcareer museum professionals to acquire knowledge that they are able to transmit to colleagues back at their home institutions. The sharing and transmission of specialised knowledge is part of the very fabric of ICOM, driving the countless encounters, conferences and activities organised by our National and International Committees every year across the world.


Also among our many missions, enhancing the role of museums in the service of society is of utmost importance, and must feed ongoing dialogue among museum professionals and policymakers. A milestone in this respect came about with the adoption at the November 2015 UNESCO General Assembly of the Recommendation on the Protection and Promotion of Museums and Collections, their Diversity and their Role in Society, drafted by ICOM. Alongside our efforts to enhance a vigorous and multifaceted museum landscape at all corners of the globe, ICOM has continually stepped up in defence of cultural heritage in troubled regions and traumatic times. In 2015, activities to increase emergency preparedness in the face of natural and human-made disasters and to fight illicit trafficking in cultural property were intensified, particularly in response to the devastating situations in Iraq, Syria and Libya. In the face of conflict and brutality, we persist in our efforts to salvage and secure humanity’s shared history and culture. An updated and enriched version of ICOM’s Emergency Red List of Iraqi Cultural Objects at Risk was launched, as was the Emergency Red List of Libyan Cultural Objects at Risk. A joint intervention in Nepal in the wake of the earthquakes that ravaged the country in April and May of 2015 provided vital assistance for the preservation of its cultural heritage, in cooperation with international partners.


In 2016, we celebrate the dedication, integrity and professionalism of our members, who have allowed ICOM to come this far and be as active, ambitious and extensive as it is today. While continuing to focus on the missions at hand, let us not forget to ontemplate what ICOM will mean 70 years down the road.



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