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World’s Museums in Milan

World’s Museums in Milan

At the 24th General Conference of ICOM (International Council of Museums)
3500 museum professionals from 130 countries
will discuss “Museums and Cultural Landscapes”
Among the speakers are Christo, David Throsby, Michele De Lucchi, Orhan Pamuk and Nkandu Luo.


“A museum is one of the places that show man at his noblest.”(André Malraux)

Milan will host an international event of great cultural, social and political importance this summer: the 24th General Conference of the International Council of Museums (ICOM), which from 3 to 9 July 2016 will see more than 4,000 participants gather together from over 130 countries to discuss the theme “Museums and Cultural Landscapes”.

At the General Conference in Milan – which this year coincides with the 70th anniversary of the international organisation, founded in 1946 with the intention of promoting and protecting natural and cultural, tangible and intangible heritage, present and future – museum professionals will participate alongside archaeologists, architects, town planners, exhibition designers, conservator-restorers, researchers, librarians, archivists, students, academics and artists.

The speakers include the environmental artist, Christo and the novelist, Orhan Pamuk (4 July); the architect, Michele De Lucchi and the Zambian Minister of Gender Equality, Nkandu Luo (5 July); and the economist, David Throsby (6 July).

On occasion of the 70th anniversary, a multimedia exhibition entitled “Where ICOM from”, curated by Dr François Mairesse of the Sorbonne, with an immersive display highlighting the evolution and future of ICOM, will take place at the MiCo during the General Conference. An exhibition of the latest innovations in the museum field will also be featured, with more than 75 stands presenting relevant experiences and up-to-date solutions for the museum community. Further events in the city’s major museums, open to the general public, are programmed as well.

After Shanghai (2010) and Rio de Janeiro (2013), Milan will play host to the international museum community, debating a key theme for 21st century museums: the relationship between museums and cultural landscapes, and how museums are, not only responsible for their respective collections, but can become active protectors of the territory they are a part of, in the perspective of the so-called ‘open-air museum’.

This is especially meaningful in a country like Italy, counting 3,847 museums, 240 archaeological sites, 501 monuments and collections of monuments, all lying within cultural landscapes that inevitably interact with them. A museum, responsible for the landscape that surrounds it, plays an important role in the territory, as a guardian of its historical values and an actor in urban planning and sustainable landscapes.

Hans-Martin Hinz, President of ICOM: “We expect sharing and dialogue about projects that cover numerous fields of interest, thanks to the presence of participants coming from many cultural and linguistic horizons. This is a unique occasion to develop conceptually inclusive, interdisciplinary and innovative frameworks in a museum environment in evolution”.

Alberto Garlandini, President of the Italian Organising Committee of ICOM Milano 2016: “We have the opportunity to build new partnerships with other professionals in cultural heritage, who like us have always defended the role of knowledge in the growth of society”.

Yousef Khacho, Head of Exhibitions at the Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum, and first registered ICOM Milan Conference participant: “ What a unique and a wonderful combination it is to have the ICOM General Conference in Milan! The ICOM conference is the biggest gathering of museum specialists from all around the world. Milan is a great city with a long history, a well-known cultural centre, and an active city and region that regularly organise many cultural events and exhibitions. The Lombardy region will be a great place to discuss the theme of landscapes in relation to culture and nature. It also has internationally-recognised expertise in museums. Lombardy is a region with many museum services and technology providers, offering a chance for many museums to contact them”.

ICOM works for the promotion of excellence in the museum field, as well as in the fight against the illicit trafficking of cultural objects and emergency response in the event of natural or human-made disasters. ICOM furthermore collaborates with UNESCO and with institutions such as ICCROM, INTERPOL, the World Customs Organization and the World Intellectual Property Organization in carrying out its missions.

As occurs at every triennial ICOM General Conference, elections will be held for a change in governance, with a new ICOM President to be elected.

The 24th ICOM General Conference is organised by ICOM and ICOM Italia in collaboration with the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism; the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the Lombardy Region; the City of Milan, the Municipality of Milan, the National Italian Commission for UNESCO; Fiera Milano Congressi; Banca Intesa Sanpaolo; the Milan Chamber of Commerce/PROMOS; and 12 universities in the Lombardy Region.

For further information: http://network.icom.museum/icom-milan-2016

Press with appropriate credentials may register free of charge. Please contact icom2016-registration@kit-group.org.

For interviews and further information

Italian Press
Studio De Angelis, Milan
Italian Press Office only c. +39 345 7190941
Foreign press office logistics c. +39 329 396 9846 

International Press
ICOM Headquarters Press Office
T.: +33 1 47349176

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