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Resolution on Collections in Storage


At the ICOM General Conference in Kyoto, five resolutions were approved by the General Assembly. One of these was based on the ‘Resolution on Collections in Storage’ which ICOM-CC has been working on since 2016 in collaboration with the International Committee on Museum Techniques and Architecture (ICAMT), the International Committee on Museum Security (ICMS), and the International Committee on Collecting (COMCOL). Prior to the General Conference, the resolution draft was endorsed by sixteen National and Regional Committees and seven International Committees. In the months leading up to the General Conference, ICOM Italy also submitted a resolution draft with very similar objectives. In Kyoto, the two drafts were merged into one: ‘Measures to Safeguard and Enhance Collections in Storage Throughout the World’. This resolution was the one approved in Kyoto. It can be downloaded from the ICOM website with the other four resolutions that were approved.  

Resolution No. 4 2019 ICOM
“Measures to safeguard and enhance collections in storage throughout the world”

The 34th General Assembly urges

  • ICOM, its National Committees, International Committees, Regional Alliances, Affiliated Organisations and Secretariat;
  • relevant intergovernmental bodies;
  • international and national museum professional associations;
  • national institutions responsible for museums;
  • national and international conservation institutions;
  • museum directors;
  • and all heritage professionals to:
    • take all measures to reduce risks for collections in storage throughout the world. This includes allocating funds and making use of all available tools and methodologies at their disposal, ensuring museums’ mission for research, education, and enjoyment by present and future generations;
    • recognise the importance of culture in its various forms in time and space, and the need to adopt appropriate methods to preserve natural and cultural testimonies, in their diversity, in national and international development policies, in the interest of communities, peoples and countries;
    • reaffirm that different kinds of institutions of memory have a fundamental value as custodians of heritage, and that their role involves preserving the material characteristics and documentation of their collections for further study, exhibition, and access;
    • consider the fundamental mission of museums, libraries, archives and other institutions of memory to preserve, produce knowledge and give access to material culture, thereby contributing to the wide diffusion of culture and the education of humanity for justice, freedom and peace;
    • further affirm that the preservation of collections contributes to the enhancement of human rights, as set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights;
    • commit to strengthen the role of Conservation Science and Heritage Science in the production of specialized knowledge for the preservation and conservation of collections in favour of the protection of cultural and natural heritage, considering their role and related social responsibilities; and
    • rethink the management of cultural heritage, and in particular the policies, practices and exhibiting criteria of collections stored in deposits.

In addition, ICOM entrusts a Standing Committee with the analysis of the situation of the deposits in museums around the world, conducted with the cooperation of National and International Committees.


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