ICOM International Conference: Museums and Identities


ICOM Austria, ICOM Czech Republic, ICOM Slovakia, ICOM Poland
Museum of King Jan III's Palace at Wilanów


warmly invite to attend the 2nd Seminar in a cycle “Planning an extended museum”
Museums and Identities


The seminar will be held on November 21st – 23rd, 2018
at Museum of King Jan III's Palace at Wilanów, Warsaw


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„Museums and landscapes are an essential element of humanity’s physical, natural, social and symbolic environment.” Based on this first sentence from the ICOM Resolution of the 24th  ICOM General Conference in Milano 2016 “The Responsibility of Museums Towards Landscape” we want to continue the discussion initiated during the first Seminar in 2017, about the impact museums have and how they react to the landscape that surrounds them, urban or rural. What particular responsibility for protecting this natural heritage and to promote sustainable development do museums have?


But the term „Landscape” also implies other perspectives: How are museums influencing the cultural, social, economic or political identity of the area and society they are situated in? They choose what objects are collected, presented and protected, what stories are told and how. They define what is handed on to future generations. “With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility” to quote Winston Churchill, Theodore Roosevelt and Spider-Man. Therefor we want to question the role of governmental authorities or financial sponsor and how they might influence the presentation or content of exhibitions. How do museums react to financial dependencies or state-ideologies?


As we are celebrating the European Year of Cultural Heritage this year, we celebrate the diverse cultural heritage across Europe. We want to raise the question if museums not only preserve Europe's cultural heritage at national, regional and local level, but if they also are in the position to be an important factor to contribute to build an European identity that is felt to be still missing.