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June 21, 2020

NetworkAlberto Garlandini appointed new ICOM President

The newly appointed ICOM President sends a message of optimism and unity to all members.

Following the resignation with immediate effect of Suay Aksoy, the elected President of ICOM, on 19 June 2020, the Executive Board has appointed Alberto Garlandini, one of the two incumbent Vice-Presidents of ICOM, as the new President. The decision was taken by anonymous vote and in accordance with the provisions of the ICOM Statutes. He will assume the presidency until the next election of the Executive Board by the General Assembly, which will be held in Prague in 2022.

The Executive Board also appointed by anonymous vote, Terry Simioti Nyambe, Ordinary Board Member, to replace Alberto Garlandini as Vice-President. Nyambe, former Chair of ICOM Zambia, will serve this new mandate alongside Vice-President Laishun An until the elections in 2022.

Alberto Garlandini has held several functions within ICOM since 2005, including Chair of ICOM Italy and Chair of the Organising Committee of ICOM Milan 2016, which is particularly relevant experience in relation to the the organisation of the ICOM General Conference in Prague in 2022. He has also been an Ordinary Member of the ICOM Executive Board, the Museum Definition Prospects and Potentials Standing Committee (MDPP), the Strategic Allocation Review Committee (SAREC), the ICOM International Committee for Regional Museums (ICOM ICR), the Sustainability Working Group (SWG) and the Strategic Plan Committee (2013-2017).


Dear Members, Dear Friends,

Museums and the museum community all over the world are experiencing an extremely difficult, stressful situation. Most museums are still closed, some are slowly and partially reopening with fewer resources and many restrictions. The COVID-19 emergency has been an unexpected threat. However, even in lockdown and quarantine, museum professionals have been working miracles to preserve and promote collections and heritage. Museum professionals are looking to ICOM for professional, scientific and operational support, and for our organisation to campaign globally so that museums and heritage can get the necessary support from governments. In these troubled times, ICOM has even more important responsibilities than in the past. Museums are in the service of society and ICOM is in the service of museums and heritage.

The Executive Board has taken note of the resignation of President Suay Aksoy and wishes her the best for the future. We extend our heartfelt thanks to her for what she has done for ICOM throughout her time as President and we will miss her very much. We know that her commitment to ICOM, museums and society will continue and we count on her further support and good advice. In accordance with the ICOM Statutes, the Executive Board took the necessary steps and nominated me to serve as President until 2022.

In recent years, ICOM has grown continuously. We have tackled difficult issues, learned valuable lessons and reimagined the present and future of museums and their changing communities. We remain strongly committed to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals, to improving the social role of museums, to promoting diversity and inclusion, to fighting inequality and racism, to protecting heritage in danger. We must look ahead with trust and optimism following the example of the enlightened museum directors who founded ICOM in 1946, stating that museums and heritage were indispensable to creating a peaceful and prosperous world.

“In these troubled times, ICOM has even more important responsibilities than in the past.”

Due to the current COVID-19 measures, we are facing some difficult, unforeseen organisational changes. We are developing new forms of communication with the public and among ourselves. Thanks to the efforts of the Director General and the Secretariat, for the first time in the history of ICOM, the Advisory Council, the meetings of National and International Committees, and the General Assembly will be held via videoconference at the end of July. I am sure that it will be a fruitful and successful experience.

Pluralism, diversity, democracy and transparency have always been ICOM’s strengths and they are now more necessary than ever. We must enhance our common vision and mission. The unity of ICOM and of the museum community is the treasure that we are committed to preserving and promoting. Let us go ahead hand in hand towards our common goals.

Alberto Garlandini, ICOM President