February 6, 2007

UNESCO conference to discuss challenges facing museums

Posted at 11:25 am in Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

More info on the UNESCO summit about the new challenges facing museums.

From:
Cultural Heritage News Agency (Iran)

New Challenges Facing Museums to be Discussed at UNESCO HQ

Tehran, 5 February 2007 (CHN Foreign Desk) — In an effort to find a solution for the challenges museums face in today’s world and the situation of archeological artifacts which have been transferred to museums of different countries in the course of history, UNESCO has organized a summit in its headquarter in Paris today entitled “Memory and Universality: New Challenges Facing Museums.”

The summit which will be held this evening with the attendance of directors of some of the most famous museums of the world such as the Louvre Museum, British Museum, and Hermitage Museum, as well as president of the International Council of Museums (ICOM), president of ICOM’s Ethics Committee, director of the Ecole du Patrimoine Africain , director of the National Museum of the American Indian in the United States, director of the National Museum of Korea, etc. will provide the chance for the participants to explore the historical, ethical, political and economic aspects of the issue.

“An ever-increasing number of countries are requesting the return of objects kept in foreign collections. Mindful of these requests, yet committed to promoting the universality of the mission of museums, UNESCO believes the time has come to develop new forms of mutually beneficial collaboration between museums, governments, and heritage professionals,” says UNESCO in its announcement.

In 1970, UNESCO drew up the Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property which entered into force in 1972 with 110 countries signing the Convention to this date. Its counterpart in private law, the UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects, has 28 State Parties.

Moreover, the Organization plays an intermediary role in actions of restitution, return or repatriation. The Intergovernmental Committee for Promoting the Return of Cultural Property to its Countries of Origin or its Restitution in Case of Illicit Appropriation (IGC), established by UNESCO in 1978, serves as a forum for these negotiations. It has for example helped in the return to Turkey of over 7000 cuneiform tablets that had been kept in the German Democratic Republic until 1987.

Source: UNESCO
Soudabeh Sadigh

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