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ICOM Europe and ICOM Portugal discuss public policies on museums in recessionary times

The conference Public policies toward museums in times of crisis, organised jointly by the ICOM National Committee for Portugal and the Regional Alliance, ICOM Europe, took place on 5 and 6 April. A major outcome was the Lisbon Declaration, an appeal to European governments to support museums in the context of recession

ICOM Europe and ICOM Portugal discuss public policies on museums in recessionary times

Conference opening session. Left to right: Luís Raposo, Chair of ICOM Portugal; Carlos Roberto Brandão, Member of ICOM Executive Council; Jorge Xavier Barreto, Secretary of State for Culture (Portugal); Damodar Frlan, Chair of ICOM Europe.

Held at the National Museum of Ethnology in Lisbon, the conference  included lectures by invited speakers, panels and brief thematic presentations (see programme at http://portugal.icom.museum). The conference gathered some 100 participants, mainly university experts, museum professionals and students, coming from various European countries as well as Canada and Brazil. The impact of the ongoing global economic crisis on museums and cultural policies in general was addressed from different perspectives, from a financial and economic viewpoint, to a political ideology perspective.

As an outcome of the conference, the Lisbon Declaration -- an appeal to the European Parliament and Commission, to the Parliaments and Governments of European countries and to regional and local governments to support culture and museums in facing the global crisis and building the future -- was signed by all Chairs of the National Committees present or represented at the Conference (Belgium, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain) as well as the Chair of ICOM Europe.

The Lisbon Declaration will be open for one month for the Chairpersons of all European ICOM National Committees who wish to sign it. It will then be delivered to the aforementioned bodies.