On 31 January 2022 at the Louvre, Paris, ICOM and the International Alliance for the Protection of Heritage in Conflict Zones (ALIPH) signed a Memorandum of Understanding focusing on the organisations’ common goal of protecting heritage , with particular emphasis on conflict and post-conflict areas.
ICOM and ALIPH are fortunate to already have a strong relationship, and have worked closely on various operational projects: including a support plan for the heritage protection sector in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic (which, with support from ALIPH, saw ICOM The Secretariat works closely with ICOM National Committees in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali and Nigeria to support museums in the region in 2020); and ICOM’s Department of Heritage Protection is currently implementing a follow-up project with ICOM Burkina Faso and ICOM Mali to strengthen museums in the Sahel region and combat the illicit trafficking of cultural property.
Threats to heritage are manifold and, given the climate crisis and changing geopolitical dynamics in many parts of the world, they have increased. This is why it is imperative that museums strengthen their emergency preparedness capacities, secure their collections with preventive conservation and improved documentation, ensure that their premises are protected against intruders and that the security of their staff and visitors is guaranteed by increased staff training. In this regard, ICOM will continue to support its members around the world to achieve these goals.
The Memorandum of Understanding, signed by representatives of ICOM and ALIPH on the occasion of ALIPH’s second donor conference, represents a significant reinforcement of an already strong relationship. Under the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding, ICOM and ALIPH will continue to respond to the needs of museums in conflict or post-conflict areas, with the implementation of protection and conservation projects.
And in recognition of ICOM’s strong and unique network of nearly 50,000 member museums, the two organizations will continue to exchange information and knowledge to help ensure the protection of museums in conflict and post-conflict areas. conflict, and to combat the illicit trafficking of cultural property. In addition, the two organizations will continue to strengthen their coordination of joint responses to crisis situations unfolding in conflict or post-conflict areas.
ICOM is delighted to continue its close partnership with ALIPH and to support museums and ICOM National Committees in their heritage protection projects.