On 22 and 23 November 2022, ICOM and its National Committees in Burkina Faso and Mali officially launched the project Strengthening Museum security in the Sahel region and combatting illicit trafficking in cultural property: the case of twenty-two museums in Mali and Burkina Faso.
With the generous support of the ALIPH Foundation, this project will help equip the staff of 22 museums in the region with internationally accepted standards for collection storage and documentation, security, anti-illicit trafficking processes, risk management and emergency planning. The project will also see material support given to the museums to secure their premises and each museum will be assisted in preparing an emergency plan tailored to their specific needs.
This project follows a previous ICOM-ALIPH collaboration, which assisted 14 museums in conflict and post-conflict areas in west and central Africa to cope with the global COVID-19 pandemic. The project was financed under the ALIPH COVID-19 Action Plan to support the cultural heritage protection sector throughout the health crisis and beyond. This already strong partnership between ICOM and ALIPH was strengthened with a Memorandum of Understanding in January 2022, and ICOM looks forward to further continuing this relationship with a forthcoming project in Côte d’Ivoire, set to commence in January 2023.
The two days of hybrid meetings brought together participants in-situ in Bamako, Mali and Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, and online participants from the ICOM Heritage Protection Department at the Secretariat in Paris, as well as an international expert based in Rome. Beginning with a coordination meeting on 22 November, the international participants and national coordinators presented the key objectives of the project, which is expected to be in operation until mid-2023. The international and national experts – including long-standing ICOM members Gaël de Guichen, Jean Paul Koudougou, Fallo Baba Keita, Franck Pacere, Moctar Sanfo, Samuel Sidibe, and Aldiouma Yattara – had the opportunity to examine the project in closer detail, with a view to sharing their expertise and planning the next steps according to specific needs. On the 23 November, the ICOM Director General opened the session before handing the floor over to delegates from each of the twenty-two museums. Each delegate presented a detailed profile of their collections and museums, whose capacities will be reinforced throughout the course of the project.
The participating museums include:
At the end of January 2023, ICOM and the National Committees will host the first in-person meeting and seminar in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. This first meeting will bring together the organisers, participants and experts from Burkina Faso, Mali and the elsewhere in the global ICOM network. Over a series of modules, the participants’ knowledge of storage and documentation will be enhanced, and the themes of security, risk management and illicit trafficking will also be explored through specialised workshops. ICOM and its National Committees look forward to continuing this work during a second meeting, planned for Bamako, Mali, later in 2023 with a continuation of the above themes and the inclusion of new subjects, including preventative conservation and emergency planning.
|ICOM Burkina Faso
The online meetings held over 22-23 November were not only an opportunity to officially launch this important ICOM-ALIPH project, but also provided a valuable chance to bring all of the key stakeholders together. This allowed the delegates to present important data to ensure the effective implementation of the project and its operational objectives, as well as plan the next steps for 2023 and beyond.
- Combatting Illicit Trafficking of Cultural Property in the Sahel: Strengthening 22 Museums’ Security in Mali and Burkina Faso https://www.aliph-foundation.org/en/projects/combatting-illicit-trafficking-of-cultural-property-in-the-sahel-strengthening-22-museums-security-in-mali-and-burkina-faso
- Région du Sahel : Vers le renforcement de la sécurité des musées et la lutte contre le trafic illicite des biens culturels https://notrenation.com/Region-du-Sahel-Vers-le-renforcement-de-la-securite-des-musees-et-la-lutte
- Protection des patrimoines culturels : Des experts de musées maliens et burkinabè partagent leurs connaissances https://infosculturedufaso.net/protection-des-patrimoines-culturels-des-experts-de-musees-maliens-et-burkinabe-partagent-leurs-connaissances/