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January 19, 2023

NetworkLaunch of the ALIPH-ICOM Emergency Grant Project in Côte d’Ivoire

At the end of 2022, the Heritage Protection Department at ICOM Secretariat launched an emergency grant project, Protection, Security Measures and Training for the Fight against Illicit Trafficking in Cultural Goods for Museums in Côte d’Ivoire, made possible thanks to the financial support of the ALIPH Foundation.

During the first half of 2023, the project will strengthen the capacities of two museums in Côte d’Ivoire in terms of protecting their collections, strengthening their reserves and improving their documentation capacities as part of a preventive action against illicit traffic. In this context, the country’s National Committee, ICOM Côte d’Ivoire, together with ICOM’s Heritage Protection Department, will organize a seminar on the fight against illicit trafficking in the capital, Abidjan, for museum and heritage professionals from across the country, in the first quarter of 2023.

Participation of ICOM Côte d’Ivoire at Ministry of Culture and Francophonie workshop
© ICOM Côte d’Ivoire

“Given the threats to cultural heritage in many countries around the world, ICOM’s expertise is invaluable in finding solutions to this problem. The ICOM National Committee in Côte d’Ivoire looks forward to strengthening ICOM’s network in the region and sharing the experience of ICOM members with museum professionals in Côte d’Ivoire in 2023 and beyond” Ernest KPAN, Chair, ICOM Côte d’Ivoire

The illicit traffic of cultural property continues to be a scourge in many countries around the world, and ICOM, its members and its National Committees have for many years been at the forefront of the fight against this illegal trade. To this end, ICOM continues to encourage the ratification and implementation of international cultural conventions to protect cultural heritage, and ICOM remains a leading player in the development of tools and programs to protect heritage from theft and trafficking, notably with the Red Lists and the International Observatory. Therefore, ICOM is delighted to strengthen this expertise among its members through this project in Côte d’Ivoire.

This project follows in the footsteps a 2020 cooperation between ICOM and ALIPH to support 14 museums in West and Central Africa to deal with the risks generated by the COVID-19 pandemic. And it is further illustrative of the strong partnership between ALIPH and ICOM, which has seen other projects implemented in the region, including the recent launch of an ALIPH – ICOM project for ICOM Burkina Faso and ICOM Mali. Consequently, ICOM Côte d’Ivoire is the third National Committee in the region to have started a project in 2022. ICOM looks forward to continuing its activities to strengthen its network and support its members within its committees, but also in the wider region in the years to come.