In accordance with its mandate and the principles of the ICOM Code of Ethics for Museums, the International Council of Museums expresses great concern in light of news of the sale of the collection of Turkey’s Santralistanbul Museum.
After opening its doors in Istanbul in 2007, the Santralistanbul Museum quickly became an international platform for arts, culture and education, a valuable testament to Turkey’s contemporary creativity. The museum has hosted several important exhibitions and has been visited by hundreds of thousands of national and international visitors.
The upcoming sale does not meet ICOM’s international ethical and professional requirements in the area of deaccessioning. As the world organisation of museums and museum professionals, ICOM urges that deaccessioning be carried out in accordance with national requirements, along with a full understanding of the ethical aspects, such as the significance of the items, their character, legal standing, and any loss of public trust that might result from such actions.
The drafting of General Principles on Conditions of Deaccessioning from Modern and Contemporary Museum Collections by ICOM’s International Committee for Museums and Collections of Modern Art (CIMAM) provides detailed guidelines in this area, and demonstrates ICOM’s strong position on the deaccessioning of museum collections.
ICOM calls on the Turkish authorities to ensure that the museum community’s concerns are heard on this matter so that the cultural, artistic and public consequences of the sale may be evaluated by those involved.