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International Conference on Risk Management in Museums in Turkey

The International Conference on Risk Management in Museums was held in Ankara on 25-26 June, 2012. Hosted by the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in cooperation with the Friends of Cultural Heritage (FOCUH) and the International Council of Museums (ICOM), this conference is the result of a larger project co-funded by the European Union and the Republic of Turkey.

International Conference on Risk Management in Museums in Turkey

Museum of Anatolian Civilizations

2 July 2012 - Heritage protection in emergency situations (natural disasters, armed conflicts etc.) is a great challenge. In Turkey, museum professionals are frequently faced with flooding and earthquakes that put the country’s cultural heritage at risk. Illicit traffic in works of art and archaeological goods also represents a growing threat to museums’ collections and activities, while depriving communities of their heritage and history.

The aim of this conference was therefore to bring an answer to these issues thanks to the expertise of heritage professionals (UNESCO, ICOM, ICOMOS, Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism, etc.) as well as other sectors concerned (National Defense Academy of Austria, Italian Carabinieri force, etc.). Observing that risk reduction and mitigation require the development and sharing of knowledge, the organisers wanted to highlight  good practices in the sector and cross-sectorial exchanges. Thus, the various speakers discussed the following topics: 

  • Standards and tools to fight illicit traffic in cultural goods
  • Risk preparedness and security in museums
  • Risk management in museums
  • Cross-sectorial collaboration and the role of NGOs in risk management

To complete this conference and provide participants with real tools, ICOM organised a two-and-a-half-day training course from 26 to 28 June, 2012 at the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations. Twenty museum professionals from Ankara, Istanbul and several southeastern European countries were given the opportunity to take part in a course about security in museums, illicit trafficking in cultural good as well as preparedness and response to emergency situations. Thus, they acquired the basic skills needed to implement concrete actions to reduce and manage the risks that their institutions are facing.