Board - Minutes


Members of the Board




of the Second Board Meeting
Term 2003 - 2005

1st June 2003, 3 - 6pm
Paris, home of Michel van Praët

Ebba Brännback (Finland)
Hans-Martin Hinz (Germany, chair),
Ralf Ceplak Mencin (Slovenia)
Agrita Ozola (Latvia),
Michel van Praët (France),
Theresa Vella (Malta),
Johanna Westphal (Secretariat, ICOM-Europe)

Excused: Nick Merriman (United Kingdom)


Agenda, n° 1: Report of the Chairman

Hans-Martin Hinz gave a report about what happened since the first board meeting on 30th March 2003 in Berlin:
Minutes: To the draft version of the minutes of the first board meeting a few remarks by board members were added. This was done by emailing in April. The final - now signed - minutes will be distributed to all members of ICOM-Europe as well as the chair of the Advisory Committee and the Secretariat of ICOM. As soon as there is a homepage of ICOM-Europe, the public will have access to the minutes as well as to other ICOM-Europe documents. In case of a fruitful cooperation between ICOM-Europe and NEMO in future, ICOM-Europe should offer the exchange of minutes between the two networks.

NEMO: The chairman informed the members, that he is in contact with the chair of NEMO. He pointed out that in his letter ICOM expressed the intention to work closely together with NEMO, especially when it comes to EU-affairs. NEMO has accepted with pleasure to work together with ICOM-Europe and there should be a common meeting this year. The board of NEMO will meet 10th and 11th June 2003 in Brussels. Because this seemed to be too early for a common meeting, the annual conference of NEMO, which will be held during the last weekend of November 2003 in Berlin, will be a chance for an official meeting. In any case, an official meeting seems to be worthwhile because most of the members of the board have no idea of the work of NEMO. Ebba Brännback from Finland offered to distribute NEMO-newsletters to all members of the board since the chairperson of NEMO is also from Finland. The members of the board of ICOM-Europe asked the chairperson to continue his correspondence with the chairperson of NEMO in order to find out, if NEMO will start officially with cooperation of the two organisations. If there is any indication for cooperation, the board of ICOM-Europe and the board of NEMO should meet officially during NEMO’s annual conference in Berlin later this year. ICOM-Europe could recommend a correspondent for NEMO’s regular talks in Brussels concerning EU-affairs. Michel van Praët (ICOM-France) expressed his interest to work in such a position for the board of ICOM-Europe.

ICOM-Arab: The chair pointed out that - after the first board meeting in Berlin - he got in contact with ICOM-Arab. Since the chairwoman of ICOM-Arab, Mrs Boukli (to whom he addressed his letter as well as to the Secretary of ICOM-Arab, Mrs Annabi) was seriously ill, in fact, he was in contact with the Secretary of ICOM-Arab. In a letter, dated 15th April 2003, he explained the idea of ICOM-Europe to cooperate with the neighbour region in order to learn from each other and to check if common activities like workshops or patronages concerning European-Arab themes, are also of interest in the Arab countries. Mrs Annabi responded in a letter dated 28th April 2003, that ICOM-Arab is very much interested in such projects. In a further letter of 6th May, Hans-Martin Hinz went into more detail by explaining the background of ICOM-Europe’s activities concerning the common work of the two regional organisations (copies of all three letters were distributed among ICOM-Europe’s board members).
There was a discussion among the board members about the standards of high quality activities for which ICOM-Europe as well as ICOM-Arab could give patronage. Just in case members will apply and ask if activities will meet such expectations, the board indicated the following standards:
- the activity should involve two or more countries
- ICOM-representatives from different countries or regions should be involved
- the applicants should describe how their plans achieve a high standard
- these activities should meet the standards of the ICOM Code of Ethics
- activities mean: international exhibitions, international conferences, international research programs or educational programs.

In case ICOM-Arab and ICOM-Europe decide to organise a workshop on a topic that should be worked out by the two organisations, Malta is the favourite host country of our committee. All members of the board should check, which organisations could function as a supporter of a European-Arab conference like this. Such a conference could also be open for NEMO if good cooperation seems to be possible. (Note: During the meeting of the Advisory Committee of ICOM, there have been first talks between ICOM-Arab and ICOM-Europe. Hans-Martin Hinz asked Chédlia Annabi to introduce ICOM-Arab’s work since ICOM-Europe has only very little knowledge about the work of the neighbour region. Mrs Annabi reported that ICOM-Arab offers conferences every two years for the members as well as an annual newsletter and would be happy if there could be a joint conference or workshop in Malta. ICOM-Arab would appreciate if the first conference or workshop offered a very practical topic. ICOM-Arab accepted also with pleasure, that the international exhibition “Saladin and the Crusaders”, prepared by the Reiss-Engelhorn-Museen in Mannheim and the National Museum in Damascus for 2005/2006, will get ICOM-Arab’s/ICOM-Europe’s patronage. If there are any possibilities to organise Arab/European workshops in Mannheim as well as in Damascus during the time of the exhibition, it would also be a good idea. The chairs of ICOM-Arab and ICOM-Europe will bring these ideas to paper and will start with preparation.)

Letter to the members: Hans-Martin Hinz pointed out that all members of ICOM-Europe (chairpersons of all national committees) were sent a letter in April, providing all issues discussed by the board of ICOM-Europe during its March-meeting in order to find out if ICOM-Europe’s board policy for the coming years is accepted by the members. A questionnaire as an appendix was also prepared but just a few answers have arrived in the meantime. Therefore, copies of the letter and the questionnaire should be distributed during the coming Advisory Committee again. As soon as more than half of the members have responded, the board of ICOM-Europe should decide about activities like: an all-European workshop concerning the middle-east and eastern European interest in themes like looted objects, former Jewish property, repatriation of objects during the wartime etc.

The board of ICOM-Europe also would like to know more about how to deal with two international museum days in Europe (ICOM’s international Museum Day and Spring Museum Day), long-term loans of objects, movements of collections as well as state indemnities. Since the Advisory Committee as well as the Executive Council will decide about the topic of the international Museum Day 2005 just a few days after the board meeting, the chair of ICOM-Europe will raise the question during the meeting of the international committees, on how to deal with the two museum days in Europe. ICOM-Europe wants to find out if the organisers of the two museum days are flexible enough to find solutions for common dates and themes.

Patronage: The chair of ICOM-Europe informed about a conference series in Russia/Belarus/Germany about museums in post-communist times. The first conference was already held in Russia a few weeks ago and the chair of ICOM-Europe was present. He could talk to the participants and explain the work of ICOM-Europe. For the organisers of the three conferences it was extremely helpful that ICOM-Europe offered patronage for the events.

ICOM-Europe was also partner of an international conference about “Illegal Archaeology”, organised by the State Museums of Berlin and held during 23rd until 25th May in Berlin. As a result, there is the “Berlin Resolution 2003” dated of 25th May 2003 (copies of the resolution were distributed among the board members).

International European projects: From 18th until 21st May there was the triennial international Lake Constance Conference of the three German-speaking committees. The conference was held in Bregenz, Austria, and the theme was “Museums in Danger, catastrophes - thefts - terror” and there was also a resolution which pointed out that a lot of museums are neither well-equipped nor prepared to prevent these dangers (resolution was distributed among the board members).

Agenda, n° 2, Activity Report for the ICOM-Advisory Committee (4th June 2003)

The members of the board accepted the draft version of the activity report which will be given by the chairperson on 4th June during the meeting of the advisory committee of ICOM (the draft version was distributed in advance among all board members).

Agenda, n° 3, General Conference in Seoul 2004 (ICOM-Europe’s Role)

After a discussion about ICOM-Europe’s role during the general conference of ICOM next year, there was a recommendation for the following activities. The chairperson should contact ICOM’s vice-president Yani Herremann (responsible for regional organisations of ICOM) to find out if there could be an interregional meeting of the board members of all regional organisations in Seoul as well as meetings of the members of the respective regions separately (note: ICOM’s vice-president as well as the taskforce of national committees accepted that idea with pleasure and will include it into the program for the next general conference of ICOM).

Agenda, n° 4, next Board Meeting

The board of ICOM-Europe will meet again in Berlin during the last weekend in November 2003 and will also have - if possible - a common meeting with NEMO.

Agenda n° 5, others

The chair distributed an email-letter by the Minister of Education, Culture and Sciences of the Netherlands, dated 28th May 2003. The ministry told ICOM-Europe, that during the second half of 2004 the Netherlands will chair the European Union. During its presidency, the Netherlands would give special attention to the mobility of collections within EU-Europe. As a result, the government would stimulate long-term loans. The Dutch government wanted to find out if this meets the interest of the museum community all over Europe.
The board discussed this letter and pointed out that for most of the museums, long-term loans could possibly be too expensive for museums because they had to pay for restoration, transportation as well as insurance. State insurance is not offered in every country and in most of the countries just for institutions on a national level. ICOM-Europe will put up to discussion if the EU is able to raise funds for such museums which are not able to pay for long-term loans and to limit bureaucratic burdens for such an exchange (“Schengen”-treaty for museum objects), ICOM-Europe would appreciate this very much. ICOM-Europe will ask the Dutch government if politicians would support museums that want to work with long-term loans.

(Note: During the meeting of the ICOM’s Advisory Committee (2nd - 4th June 2003), there was also a discussion between the chairs of ICOM-Europe and ICOM-Aspac (Asia-Pacific). Aspac is going to prepare an interregional workshop in Hanoi/Vietnam for late 2005 and would appreciate if ICOM-Europe and ASPAC could work as partners. Themes could be “Museums and Cultural Diversity” as well as “Museum Economy”. The chair of ICOM-Europe accepted the invitation with pleasure and declared that a joint meeting with ASPAC colleagues will offer a good chance to bring both regional organisations closer together. These two boards intend to talk about this offer during their next meetings.)

Berlin, 17th June 2003

Dr Hans-Martin Hinz
Chair Executive

Johanna Westphal