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A united and stronger Blue Shield organisation to protect world cultural heritage

This article was originally posted here http://icom.museum/news/news/article/a-united-and-stronger-blue-shield-organisation-to-protect-world-cultural-heritage/L/0/

The Blue Shield is the protective emblem specified in the 1954 Hague Convention (Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict) for marking cultural sites to give them protection from attack in the event of armed conflict. The independant organisation that is named after the emblem is often presented as the cultural equivalent of the Red Cross. The Blue Shield network consists of organizations dealing with museums, archives, audiovisual supports, libraries, as well as monuments and sites.

As one of the four founding member of the Blue Shield, ICOM has devoted significant attention to preparedness, response and recovery of museums and other cultural institutions facing disasters or armed conflicts. During its long-lasting involvement within the Blue Shield activities, ICOM has been building on its 37 000-heritage-expert network to help fulfill a common mission. As the largest network of museum professionals, ICOM has the ability to mobilise high-qualified volunteers all over the world, ready to cooperate in emergency heritage protection operations. Moreover, ICOM was the first cultural NGO to develop its own Disaster Relief Task Force to support museums in emergency. Today, ICOM's Disaster Risk Management Committee is dedicated to initial response after major natural and human-made disasters as well as during and after military conflicts.

The Blue Shield General Assembly was held on 13 september in Vienna and saw the accomplishment of an important step for the Blue Shield: the merging of the international and the national branches, ICBS (International Committee of the Blue Shield) and ANCBS (Association of National Committees of the Blue shield). A unified Blue Shield will be in conformity with the principles of the Strasbourg Charter: joint actions, independence, neutrality, professionalism, respect of cultural identity and work on a not-for-profit basis. The multiplication of attacks against cultural heritage drive the international heritage community to strengthen their solidarity and effectively coordinate international help for the protection of heritage all over the world.

During the Blue Shield General Assembly, the Chair of ICOM’s Disaster Risk Management Committee (DRMC), Corine Wegener, received the “Military Cultural Property Protection” award from Karl Habsburg-Lothringen, President of the Blue Shield. The award, an antique Austrian military sabre, honours her long-lasting commitment in cultural property protection during armed conflict. Corine Wegener, a former associate curator in the department of Decorative Arts, Textiles, and Sculpture at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, is a Cultural Heritage Preservation Officer at the Smithsonian Institution. In 2006, she founded the U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield. She has served in the U.S. Army and her military experience and museum expertise are true assets for ICOM-DRMC’s work.

This article was originally posted here http://icom.museum/news/news/article/a-united-and-stronger-blue-shield-organisation-to-protect-world-cultural-heritage/L/0/

Apply now to the Cultural Protection Fund for applications over £100k

Mardin Museum in the Upper Tigris Valley © Mardin Museum. The Protecting Intangible Heritage in the Upper Tigris Valley project will train people to document disappearing intangible cultural heritage.

We invite you to submit an Expression of Interest for a Large Grant (over £100k) by the 5 November 2017.

Organisations working with local partners in one or more of the Fund’s target countries within the Middle East and North Africa region are invited to apply for a grant of up to £2 million for projects focussing on the protection of cultural heritage at risk due to conflict.

If you are interested in applying for a Large Grant, please fill out an Expression of Interest form online.  If we feel your project is appropriate, we will invite you to send in a full application. You are encouraged to submit your Expression of Interest as early as possible in order to maximise the time you have to develop a full application (the final deadline for receiving Expressions of Interest is 5 November 2017).  Visit our website for full details of the application process (including Expression of Interest forms, timelines and eligibility).

Small grants are available on a rolling basis. Find out more about how to apply for a small grant (less than £100k) here.

Have an idea for a project but would like some advice before you apply?

The Cultural Protection Fund team is running two online information session for interested applicants. If you have a project idea and would like to talk to one of the team before you start, sign up for one of our sessions for free advice and guidance.

The sessions are run by Cultural Protection Fund Grant Managers, and there are two options available: 21 September 2017 14.00-15.30 BST or 10 October 2017 10.30-12.00 BST.

Visit the website to find out more.

ICOM UK – BC Global Travel Grant Scheme – 13 Oct deadline for applications

ICOM UK, with support from the British Council, is offering a number of travel grants to support staff from regional and local UK museums (non-national museums) to travel globally (beyond Europe and greater Europe) to develop mutually beneficial projects and partnerships.

The deadline for the first round of applications is Friday 13 October 2017 for travel taking place before 30 June 2018.

Click HERE to learn more about the Global Travel Grant Scheme and download the Application Form.

The Value of Museum Collections – NEMO’s 25th Annual Conference and Birthday, 9-12 November 2017, Ghent, Belgium

From 9-12 November 2017, Ghent will be home to NEMO’s 25th Annual Conference and birthday event! For four days, NEMO gathers representatives from European national museum organisations, museum experts, and policy makers and stakeholders from the European cultural sector to exchange expertise, discuss, liaise and network.



Delegates pay a conference fee of 150 Euro.

If you are a NEMO member, the annual membership fee includes the free participation of 2 member organisation's representatives at the conference. Additional delegates pay a discounted fee of 100 Euro per person.

Members of organisations that are members of NEMO receive a discount of 20% (120 Euro).
Please present a proof of membership.

Students receive a 50% discount (75 Euro)
Please present a valid student card.

Collections are at the heart of museums. As their core and basis, NEMO wants to take an open look at how museums operate with their collections nowadays. How do museums make their heart beat, how is it connected to other organs in the museum-body and to society?

We want to debate questions about how museum collections can help develop a sense of identity – both for the museum itself and their community. What are the contemporary approaches to museum collecting today? How must we challenge traditional museum thinking and practice, and redefine the museum's role in socially and politically changing times?

Museum experts from all over Europe will present museum concepts and projects reaching into political and social spheres or opening up collections to participative, modern and exceptional approaches. Museums need to deal with new tasks, new challenges and opportunities within a digital and diverse society, preserving intangible heritage, representing diverse and shared heritage. These tasks have to be met with changing resources, structures, expertise and skill sets to make sure collections are accessible for current and future audiences.

Additionally, this year’s conference offers various hands-on workshops that look into different aspects collection handling. NEMO also offers the unique opportunity to connect to European museum-related projects and initiatives during a EU Project Slam.

Join us for four intensive days with the European museum and cultural sector in Ghent, Belgium! (Registration closes ion 6 November 2017)

Learn more about our venues and how to get to Ghent here.


The Culture Diary

The Culture Diary has moved!  We are now based at the Department for International Trade in Whitehall.  We look forward to continue working with you in our new home as part of the GREAT Britain campaign – the government campaign to promote the best of the UK around the world - enhancing your international working and promoting UK culture worldwide.

The Culture Diary has a UK-wide remit to promote and help culture and creative industries organisations to export. We will continue to work across all sectors of arts and culture: museums, visual arts, performing arts, fashion, design, digital and tech, and film and television. And our new home means that we are even better placed to help cultural organisations connect with the GREAT Britain campaign, for example by including culture contingents into international trade missions and producing curated events in international markets, or supporting the international cultural dimensions of programmes like the Northern Powerhouse and the International Business Festival.

The Culture Diary will continue to work with GREAT’s partners at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), Arts Council England, British Council, Foreign & Commonwealth Office and VisitBritain as well as liaising with the Mayor of London’s office.
You can contact us on info@theculturediary.com. For website, newsletter or social media enquiries, contact bradley.barrett@trade.gsi.gov.uk.

Call for Applications: 2018 European Museum Academy Awards

Museums may apply for the EMA Awards until 15 December 2017. The Micheletti Award and DASA Award recognise museum work, research and engagement in different areas.

The Luigi Micheletti Award focused on contemporary European history and its scientific, industrial and social heritage. It is open for: Museums or interpretation centres of 20th-century history (military, political or social), science, technology or industry, as well as science centres and ecomuseums.

The DASA Award concentrates on the quality of learning activities and opportunities. It includes the museological concept, quality of the storyline, the creativity of the exhibition design and the programme of educational activities. Specific attention is also given to personal mediation, the interactive participation of the public and an effective mix of education and entertainment. All kinds of museums may apply.

From 28-30 September 2017 the Luigi Micheletti Award and DASA Award for the year 2017 will be presented during the EMA Conference and Award Ceremony in Skopje, Republic of Macedonia.

EMA also collaborates with the Hands On! network for the Children in Museums Award which will be presented in October 2017.

Submissions for the 2018 EMA Awards can be made until 15 December 2017. The complete call and further requirements can be found here.

Visit http://www.europeanmuseumacademy.eu/ for updates!

Chinese researcher seeking to make connections with UK university museums

A Chinese researcher is keen to make connections with UK university museums who are interested in collaborating with a Chinese university museum.  Please see more information below.

My name is Mu Ruifeng, I am doing my postdoctoral research in UK as a Visiting Scholar of V&A. In China, I am in the post-doctoral program in Tsinghua University Art Museum.

My university is by far the largest university museum in China, although it's a newly opened museum, it has a long history. We own more than 13,000 pieces of collections, covering six major categories, namely, painting and calligraphy, embroidery, porcelain, furniture, bronze ware and comprehensive artwork.

We loaned 60 original manuscripts of Leonardo da Vinci from the Codex Atlanticus, some models and 1 oil painting to hold the exhibition Dialogue with Leonardo da Vinci / The 4th Art & Science International Exhibition. We have also held an exhibition on Markus Lüpertz (b. 1941) , one of the key figures in German Neo-Expressionism. We cooperated with Musée d'art moderne et contemporain de Saint-étienne Métropole and hold the exhibition From Monet to Soulages: Paths of Modern Western Painting1800-1980) presenting 51 paintings with various genres from collections of the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Saint-Etienne Métropole. Otherwise, we had our own permanent collections exhibitions and special exhibitions on artist personal exhibitions of Chinese contemporary art.

For more information visit:


or email MU RUIFENG ruifengmu@126.com

Recent email from ICOM re: updating your login details for ICOMMUNITY

A number of ICOM UK members have contacted us over the last month to check whether the recent emails sent directly from the central ICOM office in Paris were genuine.

ICOM UK can confirm that the emails sent in August are genuine.  To login to ICOMMUNITY, you will need to update your login details using the link in the email sent to members.  This process also allows you to update your contact details, International Committee Preferences, and ICOM communication preferences.

Please note that the new ICOM membership administration system in Paris is being managed directly by the ICOM.  If you have any difficulties updating your login details, please contact ICOM directly using their online contact form: https://icommunity.icom.museum/en/contact

If you update your contact details on the new ICOM system, we kindly ask you to also update your details on the ICOM UK Membership Hub.  The two sites are not connected and we would like to ensure that you continue to receive important and timely communications from ICOM UK.

You can check and update your contact details on the ICOM UK Membership Hub by taking the following steps:

  1. Log in to the Membership Hub at https://members.icomuk.org/

2. Click on 'Profile' where you can see all details we hold on you.

3. If anything needs changing, click on 'Update' and amend all necessary details.

4. When finished on each page, click on 'Next' until the final page.

5. When all details are updated, click Submit.

Please be assured that ICOM UK is in close contact with the ICOM office in Paris to ensure that member contact details remain up to date on both of our systems.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused to members during this period before 2018 Membership opens in October 2017.

Help ICOM’s International Committee for University Museums and Collections update their university museum database

UMAC (ICOM's International Committee for University Museums and Collections) has renovated the design and functionality of its World Database of University Museums and Collections:


The new database is more attractive, functional, user-friendly, and so much easier to navigate. Now, it also has maps and images.

Take some time to explore it -- here are some examples to get you started:




There are many UK university museums and collections represented in the database. However, data was uploaded long time ago and may be outdated. We invite you to verify data for your university museum or collection.

Here is how you can do it:

1. If your museum or collection is already represented, you just need to find it (SEARCH), press EDIT RECORD and make all the changes you want.

2. If your museum or collection is not represented, press PARTICIPATE and fill in the online form:


3. After, you can send me images separately (2-3 nice images, max. 2 M each, with a short caption and indication of author). Please use my email mclourenco@museus.ulisboa.pt.

4. Pass the word on to colleagues in your university and elsewhere.

Thank you. Your museum does not have to be a ICOM/UMAC member to be featured.

If you have questions, please contact:

Marta C. Lourenço, UMAC-ICOM President

University of Lisbon, mclourenco@museus.ulisboa.pt


ICOM UK Institutional Membership gives you and your colleagues access to a wealth of benefits, including the option to join UMAC-ICOM as a voting member and expanding your network of professional university museum colleagues.  Read more about ICOM membership benefits HERE.

2018 ICOM membership opens via the ICOM UK online membership hub on 1 October 2017.  To register your interest before October, please contact uk.icom.museum@gmail.com

Get ready for the next Creative Europe Cooperation Projects call

While not yet confirmed, we expect that the next call for Cooperation Projects will be published in September 2017. The deadline is likely to be towards the end of November for the one-off Cooperation Projects linked to the European Year of Cultural Heritage, and a little later for the usual small and large Cooperation Projects. See the European Commission’s update.

This means that now is a good time to start planning with your other European partners.

Organisations applying, or considering applying as a partner or a lead in a project should join one of the events Creative Europe Desk UK  has announced so far.

Creative Europe Desk UK currently offering the following types of events:

  • Ideas development workshops: help you to align your and your partners’ ambitions to the aims and priorities of Creative Europe – these are more about the project rationales and themes.
  • Application writing workshops: take you through the application form and its annexes – these are more technical and detailed.
  • Information seminars: introductions to the Culture sub-programme, usually focused on Cooperation Projects and always feature someone presenting their Creative Europe project.
  • One-to-ones: talk in depth about your application.

Also, get in touch with Creative Europe Desk UK (Steph, Kate, Sophie, Christoph) for an informal catch-up, or drop them a line to tell them your plans and let them know how it's going. They are here to help and provide advice - and the earlier you get in touch with them, the more they can give you.


Preparing the application – and the partnership

If you’re thinking of applying, then why not take a look at Creative Europe Desk UK's Arts Professional article from earlier in the year to get a sense of why Cooperation Projects are worth considering.

We expect there to be no changes to the objectives and priorities of the Cooperation Projects for this call, and only very few changes, if any, to the Guidelines. So you can use documents from the last call until the new call is published.

You can also use the sample e-form to see what you can prepare for with your partners. The questions in the e-form are also in the Guidelines - all partners should read these, in order for everyone to understand what is required and to get into the language.  Remember, you’ll be answering almost all these questions as a partnership, not as individual partners, so it’s good to take the time to discuss these.


Articulating the project’s ambition

Take the time to discuss with your partners – whether you’re the lead partner or not – what you want to do, and why: It’s vital that you all agree on what the project’s aims are, how you’re going to make it all happen, and how the project relates to the ambitions and aims of Creative Europe.

If you’re in need of inspiration, take a look at the Creative Europe projects database for information and insight into previously funded Cooperation Projects with UK leads and partners. You can also hear directly from beneficiaries in On the Blog interviews, such as Let's Dance and Future DiverCities.


Plan meetings with your partners in the lead up to application submission

The more time you spend together, the more opportunity you will have to find out about each other and your ambitions and needs – and to thereby develop more trust. Schedule in Skype catch ups, arrange a face-to-face meeting if possible, and work with your partners to ensure you make the most of the time you spend together. Make sure you’ve asked about any upcoming holidays or times of unavailability to avoid as much as possible any last-minute panics. If you give Creative Europe Desk UK enough notice they can catch up before your partner meeting and on occasion also join one of these.

Encourage your partners to get in touch with their Creative Europe Desks too. Remember that it’s not just the EU member states that take part in the Creative Europe programme, and Desks are based in each country participating.

As you can see below, there are four key documents that require a significant amount of input, coordination and collaboration, and discussions of these should begin as soon as possible. Don’t forget to discuss key issues such as Evaluation and Communication / Dissemination of the project. In addition to these documents, annexes and templates need to be produced, collected and signed (see below). Make sure your partners are clear as to what these documents are, and work out deadlines for getting these documents submitted.


Familiarise yourself with the application documents & other resources

All guides, the E-Form, templates and annexes from last year’s call are still online here. We don’t have the 2017 call yet, but we’re not expecting any significant changes.


Start working on the application

  • An easy win is to ensure that all your partners (including yourself) have a Participant Identification Code (PIC)
      • All applications are submitted electronically, so new applicants must first obtain a PIC by registering for an ECAS account and entering company information into the Participant Portal. Don’t forget that you and your partners will also need to upload the required legal entity form and annexes before submitting (this step isn’t essential for getting the number to get started however).  Visit our FAQs page for further instructions and a video tutorial you can also share with partners.
  • The four key documents that will require the most collaborative work between the partnership are:
      • The full project description (No template/prescribed format, but drop us a line if you’d like to see an example from a beneficiary)
      • The budget (Template available online along with the other Annexes)
      • The cooperation agreement (No template, but we can share something for you to use as a starting point if you get in touch)
      • The E-Form (We don’t anticipate that this will change much from last year, so recommend using last year’s E-Form as a starting point. You can create a Word document to work on the different sections and paste in the final responses when you have finalised them)
  • Get all your annexes ready
      • Take a look at the checklist at the end of the Guidelines, and plan what you need your partners to submit, sign and collect. Take note of the ‘partnership information sheet’, which requests not only pasted text from your partnership agreement, but also CVs from the main project coordinator of each partner organisation, as well as a list of the creative & cultural activities of each of the partners from the last 2 years.