Welcome at IC Ethics!


On November 16, 2021, the International Council of Museums (ICOM) will celebrate its 75 Year Anniversary.

This historic milestone comes at a time of both great challenges and opportunities for our organisation. During the past year, despite the difficulties brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, our international network found a spirit of innovation and creativity that made ICOM as active as ever.

The 75 Anniversary will be a unique occasion to look back at the history of our organisation and move forward together towards our shared future.

Find more information on ICOM’s webpage: https://icom.museum/, among others this:

The heart of ICOM: Peace through cultural exchange

ICOM was founded in 1946, at a time in which calls for pacifism and unity birthed many international organisations with the aim of building a lasting peace in the aftermath of World War II. The conflict was over; but reconciliation was still a long way ahead. Chauncey J. Hamlin, then Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Buffalo Museum of Science (United States), envisioned an organisation of museums dedicated to fostering international cooperation. ICOM was born on November 16, 1946 at a meeting held at the Louvre Museum in Paris.

“In 1945, when I met Georges Salles, who was then Director of French museums, I suggested to him that we set up an International Council of Museums. He was immediately enthusiastic and agreed to sign a circular inviting the world’s most eminent museologists to an international meeting at the Louvre in November 1946. His backing helped me to secure the support of the Director of the British Museum in London.” – Chauncey J. Hamlin recalling the creation of ICOM.

From the outset, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) offered to host ICOM on the premises of its Paris headquarters in Avenue Kléber and made it one of the first NGOs with which it established formal links. A year later, on November 8 1947, ICOM celebrated its first General Assembly in Mexico City. Like J. Hamlin, the first few members of our organisation were convinced that, if the culture of every nation was more widely known, there would be a broader ground for mutual understanding.

“1. We believe that it is of the greatest importance for every nation that the knowledge of the cultures of the various countries forming part of one world should be made more widely known; 2. By these means there will be a broader ground of mutual understanding, for through exchange of cultural knowledge there is a common ground for peace;” – Resolution No. 4 ICOM 1st General Assembly, Mexico City, November 8, 1947.


A lot of ICOM Members are not aware of the extent of advantages and opportunities our network has to offer. Beyond the well-known ICOM Card, our membership allows you to enter exclusive grants programmes, world-class capacity building trainings, and much more!

READ MORE HERE: https://icom.museum/en/news/5-good-reasons-to-join-icom/


Call for Moderators

Are you a museum professional interested in or dealing with an ethical dilemma? Would you like to discuss this with your colleagues? We invite you to be a moderator of our virtual open platform dicussions!

Please find all information below or on our IC Ethics Meeting Room page.

(French and Spanish versions are coming soon!)


More information about the IC Ethics Meeting Room series, following and previous events as well as the recordings of the introductions >> on this page.


current challenges for the management and leadership of ICOM International

IC Ethics, among many other International and National Committees of ICOM, Regional Alliances, Standing Committees and Working Groups is fully supportive of ICOMs recent work advancing transparency, inclusion, diversity, democracy and sustainability, and we encourage all ICOM members and the leadership to continue and strengthen the work.

Following worrying developments, IC Ethics issued an open letter to the President, Executive Board and General Director of ICOM in June 2020:

Information on current developments, the correspondence between the committees and the leadership, as well as a large number of documents are now gradually available to all members of ICOM in the members area https://icom-museum.force.com/.


About IC Ethics

As dedicated museum professionals and ICOM members, we see the need for a broad and open debate about ethical dilemmas. With the new importance of museums as societal actors, ethical dilemmas are among the most relevant working fields. We believe that IC Ethics will be an essential and important addition to the International Committees of ICOM.

As an International Committee, it will be an open forum on ethical dilemmas for all museum professionals, a forum for reflection, discussion and sharing, thereby helping museum professionals to make more informed choices.

IC Ethics has been officially founded in Kyoto/Japan on Tuesday, 4th of September 2019, after being approved by the ICOMs Executive Board in July 2019. The initiators have received 171 Letters of Support from 38 different countries and four continents. In addition, five National Committees have supported the initiative with written statements.

Find out more about:

>>> Our mission (English, Français, Español) and rules (English)

>>> Chair, Board Members and Observer 2019-2022

>>> Our activities

>>> How to become a member

>>> How to connect