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ICOM receives the cultural heritage directors of the French-speaking Sub-Saharan area

In the framework of a week of seminars and meetings dedicated to the French speaking Sub-Saharan area’s heritage, organised by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication (MCC) in close collaboration with the International Council of Museums (ICOM), the cultural heritage directors of nine African countries were received at ICOM headquarters in Paris, on 26 October, 2012.

ICOM receives the cultural heritage directors of the French-speaking Sub-Saharan area

This much-awaited event was held at the General Secretariat of ICOM with ICOM programme staff, Mr Bruno Favel, head of European and International Affairs Department at the Directorate-General of Heritages in France and others MCC staff members, Mr Komlan Agbo , Director of Cultural Heritage and Arts of UEMOA (West African Economic and Monetary Union), and cultural heritage directors of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo, Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Niger, Mali and Democratic Republic of the Congo. It aimed to:

  • introduce ICOM, its international scope, professional standards, programmes and activities;
  • discuss the various solutions to be implemented to better protect heritage in conflict-affected countries while facilitating the Armed Forces training;
  • raise awareness of the objectives of combating illicit traffic in cultural goods and of the impact of some specific tools like the  Red Lists of Cultural Objects at Risk;
  • exchange with the Africans directors of heritage who were present in order to reflect on future partnership projects.

Thus, ICOM had the chance to present some of its tools intended to protect cultural heritage in emergency situations and fight illicit traffic in cultural goods – including the new Red List of West African Cultural Objects at Risk which is currently being prepared – and the ICOM-WIPO Art and Cultural Heritage Mediation programme, offered in collaboration with the World Intellectual Property Organization, which fosters dispute resolution through dialogue. Others subjects were discussed, like International Museum Day, intangible heritage protection and promotion, or the benefits of ICOM’s international network and the development of regional initiatives in Africa.