International Council of Museums Europe Alliance

All news

September 22, 2023

President’s Message – September 2023 Network

Dear Members of ICOM Europe,

With the start of the school year and continuing until the end of the year, ICOM Europe is delighted to extend an invitation to you all to participate in numerous events. Detailed information, including dates, venues, and topics of discussion, can be found in the September newsletter you received.

In the September’s newsletter, we also want to keep you informed about the activities conducted by ICOM Europe within the broader context of ICOM and ongoing projects. Addressing the questions that have largely remained unanswered regarding the situation within the General Secretariat, we will persist in our call for transparency throughout the autumn. We want to know the status of the current procedures relating to the dismissal of the Director General and the allegations of harassment (from whom and against whom?), the financial implications involved in reaching a resolution, and the measures in place to prevent such situations from recurring for the fourth time.

As you are aware, the interim appointment of the new Director General has been confirmed. We are not yet aware of a call for permanent recruitment, despite the ongoing replacement process for the Vice-President of the Advisory Council (open until October 1, exclusively for Advisory Council members – please consider applying). Many questions remain, and we will not hesitate to raise them during the upcoming Advisory Council Meeting on November 10 and 11. Regardless of the complexity of the situation, we have a duty to act in the interest of transparency, not driven by distrust but by our commitment to contributing our experiences to resolving issues that concern us all and that many of us have encountered before.

In the same spirit, we eagerly await information about the current appointments to various working groups and standing committees, whose roles within our organization are becoming increasingly strategic. We also observed that our organization was represented at the G20 – Culture group on August 26 in Varanasi, India, advocating for the significant contributions of museums to the protection and preservation of cultural heritage and sustainable development. We anticipate the outcomes of discussions on topics that are currently of great importance. The issue of our organization’s positioning during times of conflict remains acutely relevant, and the planet’s natural disasters pose an ever-greater threat to heritage. Solidarity is evident globally, but we recognize that our collective expertise and energy will be increasingly called upon for anticipation, protection, and reconstruction. New skills must emerge to address more frequent and urgent interventions, necessitating collective reflection and the development of new tools.

Finally, we wish to once again congratulate the birth of ICOM Africa two months ago. Since its inception, several countries within this Regional Alliance have experienced significant political upheavals. This underscores the importance of the work cultural actors are doing on “decolonization,” a key focus of our organization. We have initiated a constructive dialogue between ICOM Europe and ICOM Africa, and we intend to sustain it. As we return to our responsibilities amid these significant challenges, our determination to remain a strong, united, and professional organization takes on renewed significance. We look forward to numerous engagements between now and the end of the year.

Please do not hesitate to provide feedback or comment on the current newsletter. Above all, share any projects you may have in mind so that we can collectively explore and disseminate them.

Kind regards,

Juliette Raoul-Duval
President, ICOM Europe