International Council of Museums (ICOM)
Over the years, ICOM has evolved in accordance with international museum professionals’ needs worldwide, keeping in mind its main mission. More than 60 years after its creation, the organisation continues to represent the global museum community. Within a year of its creation, two meetings marked the birth of the International Council of Museums. The first one took place in Paris on the occasion of ICOM’s creation at the initiative of Chauncey J. Hamlin (US), who became the first President of the organisation. The second meeting, the organisation’s first General Assembly, took place in Mexico. ICOM’s first seven General Conferences were held between 1948 and 1965. During these years, the organisation developed its structure, its geographical representation, and its activities became increasingly professional and consistent. The last two General Conference (held at The Hague in 1962 and in New York in 1965) highlighted the needs and the enthusiasm of  participants. The three main concerns during this period were the educational role of museums, exhibitions, the international circulation of cultural goods and the conservation and restoration of cultural goods. By 1968, ICOM’s debt became chronic. While activities, projects and expenses continued to grow, membership dues were unchanged for eight years. Meanwhile, a new type of museum was unfolding, in line with the museum’s changing role in society. In the early 1970s, ICOM’s existence was put at risk. The only solution was to increase its own resources (its membership and corresponding dues), which put an end to this unfair and outmoded situation. The Statutes were revised. Up to then the number of active members had been limited to 15 per National Committee. Following the General Conference in Grenoble in 1971, the idea was developed that ICOM should grant equal status to individual members and a reform was adopted in Copenhagen in 1974 whereby active members and associate members formed a single category. The democratic spirit prevailed and all members of the profession had the right to vote and stand for any ICOM function. ICOM began to develop its activities in developing countries in 1977. A resolution adopted in Moscow in 1977 provided support to Asian, African and Latin America developing countries for the training of museum staff and restorers. This addressed the need for skilled labour and conversation experts. It also promoted the circulation of technical equipment for conservation training. Four decisive conferences in 1977, 1980, 1983 and 1986 enabled ICOM to fulfill two strategic goals: The finalisation of a policy on museums in the service of society and of its development. The adoption of a Code of Ethics, a reference document.