Board - Minutes


Members of the Board




of the first board-meeting
term 2003-2005

30th March 2003, 2 p.m. - 6 p.m.

Berlin, office of ICOM-Germany

Agenda, No 1: Words of welcome and introduction of the board-members


Ebba Brännback (Finland)
Manus Brinkman, Secretary General
Hans-Martin Hinz (Germany, chair)
Christoph Lind (Secretariat, ICOM-Europe)
Nick Merriman (United Kingdom)
Agrita Ozola (Latvia)
Michel van Praet (France)
Theresa Vella (Malta)
Johanna Westphal (Secretariat, ICOM-Europe)

Ralf Mencin Ceplak (Slovenia)

Enclosed: updated list of addresses of the board-members

Agenda, No 2: Adoption of the agenda

To be added: Rules of ICOM-Europe (No.14)

Agenda, No 3: Minutes of the first board-meeting

The minutes should be written by the executive secretaries of ICOM-Germany, who also serve as secretaries for ICOM-Europe, as long as the chair of this regional committee is represented by ICOM-Germany.

Agenda, No 4: Members of ICOM-Europe

In order to avoid misunderstandings concerning the membership, the board of ICOM-Europe as well as the Secretary General clarified the membership question as follows: Principally all national committees of a region are to be considered as part of the respective regional committee. The rules of ICOM-Europe have to be worked over to meet this goal. The chairperson will write a letter to all European national committees to explain the situation.

Agenda, No 5: Co-operation with existing regional working groups of ICOM national

The board discussed the work of the international working groups of ICOM inside Europe, as there are

- Central European ICOM (CEICOM) which was founded ten years ago. Member countries are those along the former Iron Curtain: Poland, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Hungary, Croatia and Slovenia. Meetings once a year in one of the member countries (workshop character): Always two topics: general international topic (group of chair persons) and documentation ( specialists).
- Lake Constance Conference (Bodensee-Konferenz). Since the 1970s triennial symposium of the German speaking national committees (Austria, Germany, Switzerland) in one of the member countries (2003 in Bregenz, Austria).
- ICOM-NORD. Scandinavian regional working group (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden). Meetings once a year in one of the member countries (chairs of national committees).
- Baltic States. Since 1994, there are common annual meetings of the three Baltic national committees Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania. Board members plus ordinary members work on specific topics.

The Board of ICOM-Europe is very interested in strengthening the links with the regional working groups and wants to have a better flow of information, in order to keep all European national committees well informed about the various activities of these working groups.

In case one or more of these working groups will work closer together with ICOM-Europe, the regional committee would accept that with pleasure.

Agenda, No 6: EU-Europe and Non-EU-Europe

EU-Europe: During the past years the national committees of ICOM-Europe already stimulated already several initiatives concerning the role of ICOM in EU-Europe as there was: a meeting of the chairs of the respective countries in Lisbon in 2000 concerning the educational situation for museums personnel (museology studies as certificates for jobs in museums). There was also an initiative by ICOM-Italy that ICOM-Europe should provide the EU with guidelines. This concerns also the question, whether ICOM-Europe should work as a lobbyist in Brussels.

Since the Network of European Museum Organisations (NEMO), which is organised by the national museums associations in Europe does already work as a lobbyist, the board of ICOM-Europe declares that it makes no sense to double the work and to compete with NEMO. Instead of that, ICOM-Europe should work together with NEMO.
The chair reported about his contacts to the chair of NEMO (Anja Tuulikki-Huovinen, Finland) as well as to a board member, Frank Birkebak (Denmark). He was told, that the board of NEMO meets twice a year in Brussels for talks with representatives of the Commission, the person in charge of museums, as well as members of the European Parliament. The results of those meetings are published in NEMO’s newsletter as well as on its homepage. NEMO is also very interested in a good co-operation with ICOM-Europe and would appreciate a common meeting in Brussels or elsewhere. The board of ICOM-Europe would appreciate if the information from the European capital could also be distributed among the members of ICOM-Europe. Both boards should find out how this can be organised.

Non-EU-Europe : The board of ICOM-Europe pointed out that is should pay attention especially to the non-EU regions. This concerns especially the Eastern and South-eastern fringe of the continent. Since those ICOM-committees often feel a lack of recognition by the rest of Europe, ICOM-Europe should do as much as possible to combine these national committees under a common roof. Since there are signals from Central and Eastern European countries concerning museum-related problems such as: looted objects, objects of unknown provenance, repatriation of cultural property displays in wartime, the chairperson of ICOM-Europe should find out, if these topics are of general interest and which could possibly lead to a common activity, like a workshop.

Agenda, No 6a: The importance of state indemnity for exhibition exchange in Europe

The Secretary General of ICOM put this topic on the agenda. As there are so many problems nowadays to realise international exhibition projects as a result of increasing expenses for insurances, state indemnities seems to be a very important tool. The members of the board stated that some European countries offer state indemnity, but just for museums organised on the national level, while regional and local museums are not supported in the same way. But even national museums do not always accept the state indemnity given to museums of other countries anymore.
ICOM-Europe will find out how the situation is in all the European countries.

Agenda, No 7: ICOM-Europe as patron of international museums activities in Europe

ICOM-Europe will offer partnerships for important (high standard) international museums activities all over Europe. This could be a benefit for the museums or organisers of activities as well as for ICOM-Europe. The member countries of ICOM-Europe should be asked for international projects and ICOM-Europe will distribute these activities through ICOM networks, as there is the calendar of ICOM-activities on the ICOM-homepage in Paris.

There are already a few partnerships between ICOM-Europe and international projects such as:
- MuseDoma and ICOM-Europe “dot-museum” Awareness conference in Berlin in March 2003
- International conference series by ICOM-Belarus, the Russian Institute of Culture and ICOM-Germany about “regional museums in post-communist times”: Moskau/Twer (April 2003), Minsk (October 2003), Berlin (Spring 2004)
- International conference about traffic of illicit antiquities: “Illegal Archaeology” in Berlin (May 2003), State Museums of Berlin, Prussian Cultural Heritage and ICOM-Europe
- International Conferences in Berlin (2004) and Luxembourg (2005) about “Objects from the Past as Part of the Historical Heritage” and “Beyond the Objects, Exhibiting the Intangible”, German Historical Museum and City Museum of Luxembourg
- The Baltic Regional working group has applied for ICOM-Europe’s patronage for the Baltic Museology Summer School. The first session is planned for June 2004 in Latvia.

Members of ICOM-Europe should apply for ICOM-Europe’s patronage. If there is a partnership, a representative of ICOM-Europe should be invited for the respective conference or vernissage and should get the chance to speak words of greetings. The patronage should be recognised in the respective publications.

Agenda, No 8: ICOM-Europe and the other regional committees of ICOM

There are several regional committees of ICOM all over the world and ICOM-Europe is very interested in getting more information about the work of the other regional committees. ICOM-Germany expressed its wish to get in closer contact with all of them, especially with the neighbour region, ICOM-Arab, to find out, if both networks of the two different cultures could work closer together, not just on the background of the recent Western-Arabian conflicts. Both our committees should offer joint activities to allow representatives of the museums both different and common perspectives on history and culture and to get an overview about common projects in our regions and their results.
One idea is to find out if there could be a workshop organised by ICOM-Europe and ICOM-Arab in Mediterranean country such as Malta or Spain, where all those themes could be discussed.

A second question is if ICOM-Europe together with ICOM-Arab could give patronage to common Arabic-European exhibitions or other activities. Example: A big regional museum in Mannheim, Germany, is preparing an exhibition for 2005, called “Saladin and the Crusaders. Europe’s Encounter with the Orient” together with the National Museum in Damascus, Syria.
The chair of ICOM-Europe should get in contact with the chair of ICOM-Arab.

Agenda, No 9: International Museum Day

The board of ICOM-Europe has discussed the question about Spring Museum Day, which is celebrated in France as well as in some other European countries during the first weekend in May, and how this can be linked with International Museum Day, which is celebrated in most countries all over the world at or around 18th May. In border regions of Europe, museums often complain that common crossborder projects cannot be realised because of different dates and topics. ICOM-Europe will find out if there could be discussions with the organisers of Spring Museum Day concerning a common annual theme which must be of importance for the world community of museums as well as for Europeans (Spring Day). ICOM-Europe will also consider whether there should be an initiative to broaden International Museum Day into an International Museum Month to allow common dates (Advisory Committee).

Agenda, No 10: Communication among members of ICOM-Europe

Since ICOM-Europe has no regular budget and at this stage no plan for a regular newsletter the board would recommend that information about ICOM-Europe’s work should be distributed through the information networks of the member countries. ICOM-Europe will give this information directly to the chair persons of the national committees in order to get this information distributed in the various countries (newsletters, homepages etc.). The secretariat will check if a homepage linked with that of ICOM-Germany and/or is possible.

Agenda, No 11: Financing of ICOM-Europe

The regional committees do not get any money from ICOM-headquarters in Paris. Even though, the rules of the regional committees declare the national committees responsible for financing, ICOM-Europe knows that most of the committees are rather poor since they are not subsidised by governments or others. Activities like workshops etc. should be financed by special funds.

Agenda, No 12: A board of ICOM-Europe, dispatch of work

The members of the board discussed the future work of ICOM-Europe and accepted to work together as a team. In the beginning, most of the initial work (see topics above) will be done by the chair and the secretariat, but all board members will share ICOM-Europe’s work (see topics above), especially when it comes to activities like workshops etc.

Agenda, No 13: Date of the second board-meeting of ICOM-Europe

The chair of ICOM-Europe will give a first activity-report during the annual meeting of the advisory committee in early June in Paris. A second board-meeting will be held on 1st June, noon, in Paris and the board accepted the kind invitation of Michel van Praet for a meeting in his home that day with pleasure. One topic should be the next general conference in Seoul, Korea.

Agenda, No 14: Rules of ICOM-Europe

The board will discuss that topic during its next meeting.

Berlin, 10th April 2003

Dr. Hans-Martin Hinz
Dr. Christoph Lind
Johanna Westphal, M.A.