New UMAC Board elected

Today, the UMAC Board 2022-2025 was elected at the 22nd Annual General Meeting, held online and transmitted live in our  YouTube channel.

The new UMAC Board comprises:
CHAIR: Andrew Simpson, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia
Fatemeh Ahmadi, Medical University Museum, Tehran and University, Iran 
Giovanna Vitelli, The Hunterian, Glasgow University, UK 
SECRETARY: Gina Hammond, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia
TREASURER: Dominick Verschelde, Gent University Museum, Belgium
Ana Isabel Díaz-Plaza Varón, Museo de Artes y Tradiciones Populares, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain
Margarita Guzmán, Museo de la Universidad del Rosario, Bogotá, Colombia
Sian Tiley-Nel, University of Pretoria Museums, South Africa
See them here.

New Museum Definition Approved

This week, during the 26th ICOM general conference in Prague, a new museum definition was approved with 92.41% of the votes.

UMAC voted in favour of the new definition. Next, the text will be translated into several languages and, in some countries, into legislation and accreditation systems.

I profit to express our gratitude to all UMAC members who contributed to the several stages of the new definition consultation. The process was remarkably balanced, inclusive and well led by Bruno Brulon (Brazil) and Lauran Bonilla-Merchav (Costa Rica).

Marta Lourenco, UMAC Chair

New Museum Definition

Last week, the ICOM Advisory Council approved the museum definition proposal to be voted at the General Assembly in Prague next August.

“A museum is a not-for-profit, permanent institution in the service of society that researches, collects, conserves, interprets and exhibits tangible and intangible heritage. Open to the public, accessible and inclusive, museums foster diversity and sustainability. They operate and communicate ethically, professionally and with the participation of communities, offering varied experiences for education, enjoyment, reflection and knowledge sharing.”

Read more here.

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: