ICOM is pleased to announce that the proposed new museum definition has been approved.
On August 24, as part of the 26th ICOM General Conference held in Prague, the ICOM Extraordinary General Assembly approved a new definition of museum. The vote is the culmination of an 18-month participatory process that involved hundreds of museum professionals from 126 national committees around the world. The new text says:
“A museum is a permanent, non-profit institution serving society that researches, collects, conserves, interprets and exhibits tangible and intangible heritage. Open to the public, accessible and inclusive, museums promote diversity and sustainability. They operate and communicate ethically, professionally and with community participation, providing varied experiences for education, enjoyment, reflection and knowledge sharing.
This new definition aligns with some of the major changes in the role of museums, recognizing the importance of inclusion, community participation and sustainability. A new President and a new Executive Board will be elected during the Ordinary General Assembly. The new governance will meet in due course to define the next steps for the implementation and adoption of the new definition, in collaboration with the ICOM Committee for the Museum Definition, ICOM Define. As with the review process, inclusion, transparency and participation will remain at the heart of this new phase.