ICOM Poland together with the Polish Association of Museum Professionals and the Polish Association of Open Air Museums, supported by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, has organised the first Congress of Museum Professionals in Łódź, Poland, from 23 to 25 April 2015.
Attended by 1200 museum professionals, the Congress focused on questions such as “Museums in the cultural, social and economic policy of local governments” or “Museum objects – between a crisis and the need for authenticity. Discovering the context”.
Prof. Dr. Hans-Martin Hinz, ICOM President, was invited to deliver the introductory speech on “Mission, ethics, values, the value creation role of museums” with Professor Stanisław Waltoś, from Jagiellonian University. M. Hinz first congratulated the organisers for the initiative of bringing together such a large gathering in Łódź – an ideal forum for the exchange of experiences and expectations about our missions and visions. Speaking about ethics, M. Hinz argued that the ‘ICOM Code of Ethics for Museums’ is the most important tool in the advancing and protection of the common museum objectives. Indeed, “the ICOM Code of Ethics has been accepted as the international reference document for museum work of various countries in their own museum laws, often acknowledged in the documents of parliaments and governments at a national level.”
He also presented ICOM Red Lists and ICOM Observatory on Illicit Trafficking and Cultural Goods as programmes that further demonstrate the ethical mission of museum professionals in their global commitment to continue fostering and protecting culture and heritage. In his conclusion, he invited governmental proprietors and leaders in the political domain to update their standards of ethics, in order to progress in the vocation of museums to protect unique, interconnected heritage collections and professional resources for ongoing social development. ICOM will continue to promote international guidelines and ethical standards for the work of museums in the twenty-first century.