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ICOM Webinar | Preparing for the Reopening of Museums

A recent ICOM survey estimates that 95% of museums around the world have remained closed for an extended period in recent months.

While the direct economic and social consequences of the pandemic on the cultural sector are still being analysed, it is essential that cultural institutions properly address this phase of gradual reopening. By appealing to their vital social role, museums must be guaranteed the right support during the recovery process that lies ahead in the coming months, and years.

On 24 June 2020, the ICOM Webinar “Preparing for the Reopening of Museums: The Aftermath of a Pandemic” engaged all participants in a discussion to take stock of what happened during these long months of closing, assessing the innovative projects that have proved useful for the future.

Following an introductory speech by Dr Peter Keller, Director General of ICOM, the core debate gathered four international specialists from the museum sector, coordinated by Vinod Daniel, moderator of the webinar. The discussion evaluated the global impact of the current pandemic on cultural institutions – with its short-term and long-term consequences on museums – while also focusing on the delicate actions to be undertaken during the upcoming phase of reopening. Drawing on their vast professional experience, the participants provided the audience with examples of museums’ initiatives which have proven their effectiveness in the current context.

The ICOM webinar gathered more than 3,000 users on the live streaming platform. In case you missed it, you can rewatch the whole webinar session at this link – until end of August, 2020 – also available in its simultaneous translations in French and Spanish.

Watch it now

Panellists:

  • Laishun An. Vice-President of ICOM, Vice-President and Secretary General of the Association of Chinese Museums and Editor-in-Chief of the magazine Chinese Museum, An teaches heritage and museum studies at three universities in China.
  • Elke Kellner. Journalist, radio and tv producer and curator, Kellner graduated in History of Art and Archaeology. She is Managing Director of ICOM Austria and board-member of Blue Shield Austria and ICOM Europe.
  • Cristina Lleras. Head curator of the Museum of Bogotá, Colombia, Lleras has previously been Art and History Curator at the National Museum of Colombia and led the Museology Department at the Museum of Memory of Colombia.
  • Christian Nana Tchuisseu. Director of the Blackitude Museum and Art of God Gallery of Yaoundé, Cameroon, Nana Tchuisseu was recently elected President of ICOM Cameroon and Vice President of ICOM Advisory Council.

Moderators:

  • Vinod Daniel. Internationally recognised museum specialist, Daniel is currently Chairman of the Board for AusHeritage (Australia’s Heritage Industry Network) and Board Member of ICOM.

Introducing:

  • Peter Keller. Appointed Director General of ICOM in 2017, Keller had been Director of the Salzburg Cathedral Museum (Dommuseum), Austria since 2002. He previously served as Treasurer of ICOM, Chair and Secretary of ICOM-DEMHIST and as a board member of the ICOM Austrian National Committee.

For more information and further questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Elsa Urtizverea, ICOM Heritage Protection Coordinator, at elsa.urtizverea@icom.museum.

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Since the very beginning of this emergency, ICOM has sought to assist its members and the international museum community in search of solutions that could effectively respond to the multiple issues faced by global cultural institutions. By regularly updating the website section dedicated to COVID-19, we have committed ourselves to take into account the different aspects of this crisis affecting the work of museums and museum professional, with the collaboration of several key partners.

Photo by Aaina Sharma on Unsplash