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December 10, 2018

ConferenceCultural heritage in transition and transformation: ICOM ICEE and ICOM ICFA

Cultural heritage is going through a period of transition. How can these transformations help fight social exclusion and make the most of the latest innovations?

From the 11th to the 14th of November, the ICOM International Committee for Exhibition Exchange (ICOM ICEE) and the ICOM International Committee for Fine Arts (ICOM ICFA) organised a joint conference in Madrid, Spain. The theme of the event, which counted with the support of the Caixa Foundation and was held at Caixa Forum, was Cultural Heritage: Transition and Transformation.

From restoring the narratives of peoples whose stories had been overlooked  to bringing architectural displays back to live through innovative displays, more than 160 museum professionals coming from 38 countries participated in stimulating panels around four main topics: social engagement, display and preservation, digital innovation and creating legacy.

The first day kicked-off with the welcoming remarks from Antonio Rodriguez, ICOM ICEE chair, Christopher Lind, ICOM ICFA chair, Suay Aksoy, president of ICOM, and Ignasi Miró, Director of the Cultural Area of the Caixa Foundation. The plenary was delivered by Miró, who highlighted accessibility, participation and mediation as three key concepts when attracting and welcoming new audiences. He also insisted on the impact of art in well-being, particularly through the important role of professional artists in initiatives in support of people at risk of social exclusion.

On the second day, keynote speaker Karina Marotta, Head Coordinator of Conservation of the Prado Museum, tackled how the museum keeps engaging new audiences while being on the edge of its 200 years anniversary. She also presented some of the recent and upcoming temporary and external exhibitions, which have been the main engines behind the modernisation of the Prado in the past two decades.

After the join sessions held in Caixa Forum, ICOM ICFA participants took their individual sessions to the Goethe Institut in Madrid, while ICOM ICEE participants took theirs to Barcelona, to the city’s Caixa Forum.

A vibrant cultural programme

Participants also took part in exciting cultural activities around the city of Madrid, including a visit to the current exhibition at Caixa Forum, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, the deposits of the Prado Museum and the Reina Sofia Museum.

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