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Paris, the ICOM Advisory Committee 2012

Monday, 4 June, 2012 to Wednesday, 6 June, 2012
Organised by: 
Roeland Paardekooper (EXARC Director, Operational Manager OpenArch, NL)
Number of Participants / Visitors / Audience: 

Following EXARCs status in ICOM as Affiliated Organisation, we were invited to attend the 2012 session of the ICOM Advisory Committee, also known as the ‘June Meeting’. This is a yearly convention of representatives of all National Committees (NC’s), all International Thematic Committees (IC’s) and all Affiliated Organisations (AO’s).
Two out of three years, this takes place in Paris, where ICOM has its Headquarters. The UNESCO hosted the conference, right in the shadow of the Eiffel tower. The three-days began with a plenary session where attention was paid to the International Journal on Intangible Heritage, published in Korea followed by an extensive session in ICOMMUNITY, a new web based tool for ICOM members. It is more a way of keeping track of everything what happens in ICOM, professionally than that it is meant as social network. EXARC offered to give feedback as we have just accomplished a website with 3,000 pages and a database with another 10,000 pages.
It was clear, that besides nice elections about where ICOM should meet in 2016 (they meet every 3 year, this costs about 2 million euro), it was much more important to make new contacts and keep up with all the existing ones. ICOM SEE (South East Europe) for example proves to be an interesting and active ICOM Chapter; and we finally got to know the colleagues from ICMAH (International Committee on Museums on Archaeology and History) whom we had been in email contact with and who will join us in September 2012 in Sweden. ICOMOS, strong in the US requested us to contact their office in Washington as we explained our desire to attract American members with an offer which should be relevant to them. Many US archaeological open-air museums are part of the National Park Service offering them a lot of professional assistance. EXARC could be adding some services to those.
One of the themes of ICOM HQ in Paris is to work with World Heritage sites and the (museum) landscape around them: an excellent chance for EXARC in the near future as several of these areas also have archaeological open-air museums.
During contact with the secretariat, we discussed an update of EXARCs Bylaws to comply in greater detail with ICOM. Although EXARC is just an affiliated organisation and no International Committee, meaning we do not depend on ICOM but are loosely connected to them, there is still a great mutual interest.
Looking forward to 2013 when the next ICOM Convention will take place in Brazil with the appealing theme {Museums (memory + creativity = social change)}, ICOM-NL already suggested working on the theme of intangible heritage, something EXARC could gladly link with.

ICOM opens windows for EXARC into the world of museum professionals – very welcome!