In fact, two new museum definitions.
Following a long public debate, ICOM’s standing committee on Museum Definition, Prospects and Potentials (MDPP) has proposed two new museum definitions to the Executive Board of ICOM, which will be voted next September in Kyoto.
Read more here.
And here they are, the two definitions:
Museums are democratising, inclusive and polyphonic spaces for critical dialogue about the pasts and the futures. Acknowledging and addressing the conflicts and challenges of the present, they hold artefacts and specimens in trust for society, safeguard diverse memories for future generations and guarantee equal rights and equal access to heritage for all people.
Museums are not for profit. They are participatory and transparent, and work in active partnership with and for diverse communities to collect, preserve, research, interpret, exhibit, and enhance understandings of the world, aiming to contribute to human dignity and social justice, global equality and planetary well being.
A new museum definition was always likely to be controversial and this announcement is generating considerable debate.
What do you think? Please leave your comments below, we would love to hear from you.
UMAC is still debating how to vote in Kyoto, in any case at this point we are joining those who say that more internal debate is needed.
Read here a brief speech by the UMAC Chair on the importance of the museum definition for university museums, Milan, 8 July.