THE ACTIVITIES OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE FOR MUSEOLOGY FOR THE EXPANSION OF COOPERATION IN THE ASIAN REGION
Authors: Truevtseva Olga Nikolaevna
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International cooperation is an important factor in the development of Museum theory and practice.
The establishment of the Regional Committee for Museology (ICOFOM), bringing together the professional
museologists of the Asian and Pacific Regions. By this Committee the interaction of scholars: historians,
anthropologists, archaeologists, art historians, and professional museologistswas intensified. A novum is also
theinteractionwith experts on museum-practice.
The article talks about the established practice of carrying out international symposia, Museum schools,
internships, exhibitions, as well as the development of scientific publications. The main attention is paid
to the history and the development of the Committee for Museology (ICOFOM) and one of its structural
sub-Committees: the Committee for Museology of Asian and Pacific (ASPAC) as an important branch of the
International Council of Museums.
The International Council of Museums (ICOM) was established 1946 in Paris as an “umbrella” for many
committees. Structurally, the ICOM consists at the moment of 31 committees, 18 affiliated international
associations, 115 national committees, more than 30 thousand individual and corporate members in 152
countries of the world. On contemporary circumstancesICOM developsthe inter-state and inter-cultural
Museum-policy aimed at the preservation of world cultural heritage, and the promotion of the international
The article pays particular attention to the history and development of one of the International Committees
of ICOM – the Committee for Museology (ICOFOM) and to the Regional Committee in Asian and Pacific
Countries – ASPAC.
Museology professionals, united in 1977 in a non-governmental public organization, the Committee for
Museology have put many efforts to improve the science of Museology and the methods of practical work
of museums, training of museum staff, exchange of experience, and the promotion of academic knowledge.
The Committee has gained its recognition through ICOFOM’s organizing extensive discussions of actual and scientific dialogues made theoretical questions of museology available to the general audience of
professionals; they created the foundation for the training of museum personnel.
The current system of organizing international symposia and scientific publications, lectures, seminars,
master-classes of leading museologists from different countries, exhibition projects significantly raise the
scientific level of museums and stimulate the creativity of their employees. International Museological Summer
Schools play also a significant role in the trainijng of museum professionals.
An important feature of ICOFOM activities is the constant expansion of activities due to its involvement
in the peripheral, regional museum institutions through the organization of its regional offices. 2003 the
Committee of Museology of Siberia (ICOFOMSib) was createdby Olga Truevtseva/Altai State Pedagogical
University, and in 2009 – the Committee of Museology of the People’s Republic of China.
Since 2003, ICOFOMSib brings together academics and practice workers in the museums of Siberia,
initiating a variety of projects aimed to the study of the history and theory of museums in Siberia, particularly
the preservation of cultural heritage. Annual symposia were held in the cities of Siberia and Asia.
In 2011, the ICOFOM Board has proposed to enlarge the territorial boundaries of ICOFOM Sib activities
by including the countries of Asian and Pacific countries. The ICOFOMSib got its new name – the Committee
of museology in Asia and the Pacific (ASPAC). Thanks the great effort of Prof. Dr. Kuo-ning Chen (University
Tainan, and now Director of the Museum for the World Religions in Taipei and Vice-president of this
Committee) the Committee grow up immensely. Several Meetings on Museology took place in the “Museum-
During the twelve years of the ASPAC activity there were organized and held 9 international symposia,
16 international museological schools, attended by school and museum staff, teachers and students of higher
educational institutions. Many exhibition projects have been implemented in Kazakhstan, China, Taiwan,
and Mongolia. Scientists from Asia and Europe have generated more than fifteen scientific publications.
The Committee’s experience shows that the development of national museums is greatly enriched due
to the exchange of information, the study of international experience of museums. Intercultural dialogue
contributes to the search for new forms and technologies of preservation of cultural heritage.
Keywords: Museum, museology, international activities of museums, history, International Council of
museums (ICOM), Committee for museology (ICOFOM), the International Museology Committee of Asia and
Pacific, Museum school.