Museums and Museum Professionals in Ukraine

ICOM Call for Donations to Support Museums and Museum Professionals in Ukraine

The International Council of Museums (ICOM) would like to acknowledge the significant outpouring of support from the global museum community for the protection and valorisation of Ukrainian cultural heritage since the start of the invasion by armed forces of the Russian Federation. ICOM expresses its gratitude for the many offers of assistance received since the beginning of the conflict, a testament to the solidarity between the museum professionals and cultural actors in general.

Continue reading in ICOM website.

Ukraine: Appeal from ICOM POLAND

Dear Colleagues, Dear Friends,

in these dramatic days for Ukraine, the Polish Committee of the International Council of Museums (ICOM Poland) is asking for your support in our efforts to help Ukrainian museum professionals.

In the third week of the Russian aggression on Ukraine, Poland received over 1,7 millions of refugees, mainly women, children and the elderly. Extensive help is being offered by the Polish population and the local and state governments to assist them. They often arrive with few, if any, belongings and are in need of shelter, food, medical supplies and so on.

In Ukraine people are not only fighting the aggressor, but also try to protect and save the cultural heritage: museums, libraries, onuments, architectural gems. Polish museums and Ministry of Culture and National Heritage are organizing help for museums and cultural institutions in numerous Ukrainian cities.

What do we do?

ICOM Poland decided to focus on the needs of the museum personnel that found refuge in our country. With the assistance of ICOM General Secretariat we established an Ukrainian speaking office and started to locate persons scattered throughout Polish cities. We plan to provide 3-months individual grants to the museum professionals that will apply. These grants should help them to accommodate their first needs.

At the same time, our office will act as a contact point between the grantees and Polish museums and cultural institutions, so that they may find a job and a welcoming professional milieu. The Polish state already simplified the necessary employment formalities to the minimum.

Continue reading here.

Registrations to ICOM 2022 PRAGUE

Registrations to ICOM Prague 2022 are open
The 26th General Conference of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) will bring thousands of experts from around the world to Prague, in the Czech Republic, where they will set the course of the museum field for the coming years. From the 20th to 28th August, join the international museum community in ICOM Prague 2022 — both onsite and online!

Register here.

ICOM Statement concerning the Russian invasion into Ukraine


“As of 24 February 2022, military forces from the Russian Federation have invaded Ukraine. The International Council of Museums (ICOM) strongly condemns this violation of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine. ICOM is especially concerned about the risks faced by museum professionals as well as the threats to cultural heritage because of this armed conflict. ICOM expects both countries, as States Parties of the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the event of armed conflict and its First Protocol, to abide by their international legal obligations to protect heritage.

Already this conflict is deeply distressing and likely to result in an unacceptable loss of life, therefore ICOM calls for a swift ceasefire, immediate mediation between belligerents, and coordinated efforts to ensure the safety of museum personal and protect cultural heritage.  In times of conflict and uncertainly like these, ICOM must also express its deep concern the implications this uncertainty will have on the safety and security of ICOM members, museum personnel and cultural heritage in Ukraine.

After first securing their own safety, ICOM advises all its members to recall their professional obligations under the ICOM Code of Ethics for Museums to preserve, maintain and promote heritage and ensure their museums and collections are protected against all varieties of risk, including in conflict. Furthermore, ICOM advises all interested parties that there are many online free and accessible tools which can help in crises such as this, including but not limited to: ICOM and UNESCO Museums Security and Disaster Preparedness in Running a Museum: Practice Handbook, ICCROM First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis – Toolkit or UNESCO and ICCROM Endangered heritage: emergency evacuation of heritage collections.

In addition, ICOM invites members of civil society to reach out to their local museums to assist them, if possible, with the ways and means to protect their buildings and collections. As important centres for education, study and enjoyment in local communities, it is important that museums – crucial reference points for local communities – are supported by their local communities.

Finally, outside of the immediate area of conflict, this crisis will provide an opportunity for unscrupulous individuals to profit from the threats to heritage. ICOM warns all interested parties to be vigilant for potential increases in the smuggling of cultural materials coming from the region, and ICOM reminds all national governments in the region of their international legal obligations to protect moveable cultural heritage under the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property, and the 1995 UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects, not to mention the other international cultural conventions for the protection of humanities common cultural heritage.

ICOM is working closely with its international partners and stakeholders in the region and monitoring the situation as it evolves. ICOM will continue to offer whatever support it can to alleviate any potential threats the heritage of Ukraine may face in the uncertain days and weeks to come.”

[read online]


Practical resources available online:

ICCROM First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis (2018)

Endangered Heritage: Emergency Evacuation of Heritage Collections (2016) available in a number of languages at:   

Update on UMAC 2022 Prague

Dear UMAC community,

This year, our annual conference will happen in August, in Prague, Czech Republic, included in the 26th ICOM General Conference.

This year’s ICOM General Conference will be a hybrid conference, in other words you will be able to register to attend in person or remotely. As always, registrations will be handled centrally by ICOM and should open soon.

As for UMAC 21st Annual Conference, it will be shorter than usual and have two parts:

PART 1 – 22-23 August: we will have a joint meeting with colleagues from three other ICOM committees: NATHIST (natural history museums), ICME (ethnography museums) and ICR (regional museums)

A Call for Papers for this is opening now.

PART 2 – 25 August: UMAC will meet separately at the Faculty of Sciences of Charles University (Hrdlicka Museum)

UMAC will give a limited number of grants to help cover travel and accommodation costs of members traveling to Prague. Please make sure you’re eligible.

You can find all the information about UMAC 2022 here:

We’re excited with our conference this year and we look forward to meeting you in Prague.

Warm regards,

Marta Lourenço, University of Lisbon

UMAC Chair

PS As mentioned earlier, this year’s Annual General Meeting will not happen in Prague. It will be 19th September, online.

Participate in the ICOM Museum Definition CONSULTATION

ICOM is revising the museum definition dating from 2007. UMAC invites the global community of university museums and collections to participate in the ICOM consultation.

A summary of what is happening

In 2019, the ICOM Extraordinary General Assembly held in Kyoto approved to postpone the vote on a new museum definition, deciding to enter into a process of consultation and improved cooperation between committees. Since then, committees around the world have led activities of consultation with their members. In December 2019, the Executive Board decided to expand the MDPP to include over 20 members, incorporating figures who represent varying opinions on the matter. In February 2020, with the committee renamed MDPP2 to reflect the change, members entered into a phase of establishing a new methodology for proposing a museum definition for the 21st Century. This process has had to take into consideration the specificities of different regions and specializations represented by the many ICOM committees, regional alliances and affiliated organizations. Continue reading from the ICOM Advisory Council Report.

Members of ICOM Define

The new methodology was presented by ICOM Define at the webinar “Defining the museum in times of change: a way forward” (10 December 2020). If you missed it, click on the image below.









Participate in the consultation

UMAC invites the global university museum community (members and non-members) to participate in the public consultation.

Please fill out the brief survey here BEFORE 14 March, 2021.


‘The future of tradition in museology’, ICOFOM Study Series, 48 (1), 2020

‘Defining the museum: Challenges and compromises in the 21st century’, ICOFOM Study Series, 48 (2), 2020

CAMOC Review No. 1/2020

Marta C. Lourenço, UMAC Chair: Defining the UNIVERSITY MUSEUM today: Between ICOM and the ‘third mission’, Speech 8 May 2019.


International Museum Day 2021: THE FUTURE OF MUSEUMS

The year 2020 has been like no other. The COVID-19 crisis has swept the whole world abruptly, affecting every aspect of our lives, from the interactions with our loved ones, to the way we perceive our homes and cities, to our work and its organisation. Some already pressing issues have been exacerbated, questioning the very structure of our societies: the call for equality is stronger than ever.

Continue reading in ICOM’s website.

Download  poster and  banner for IMD2021.