If you've always casually defined museum as a "place to see art or historical objects," you're not necessarily wrong. The International Council of Museums (ICOM), however, has a more specific official policy that preserves, researches, communicates, and displays a museum as a "non-profit, enduring institution serving society and its development, which is open to the public and receives the information and immaterial heritage of humanity and its environment for the purpose of education, study and pleasure. "
ICOM's 40,000 members have followed this definition for nearly 50 years, representing more than 20,000 museums worldwide. Well, reports the Art Newspaper some members would like to change this.
On July 22, the organization's executive committee met in Paris to write a new definition that, in the opinion of Danish curator Jette Sandahl, better meets the requirements of "cultural democracy." Through this updated description, a museum must "acknowledge the conflicts and challenges of the present [e] and address [s]", "work in active partnership with and for different communities to collect, preserve, explore, interpret, and to improve the understanding of the world "and" to contribute to human dignity and social justice, to global equality and to the well-being of the planets ".
The proposal immediately provoked harsh reactions from a number of other members of the museum community, which I found was too ideological and vague. François Mairesse, a professor at the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle and chair of the International Committee for Museology, even resigned from the Review Commission, which was headed by Sandahl Definition. "This is not a definition, but a statement about fashionable values, far too complicated and sometimes deviant," he said The Art Newspaper . "It would be catastrophic to impose only one kind of museum."
It is currently planned for ICOM members to vote on the definition at the General Assembly in Kyoto, Japan, on September 7, but at 24 national branches and five international museums. The committees have requested that the vote be postponed. You want to have some time to create your own definition for Museum and submit it as a counter proposal.
[h/t The Art Newspaper]