ICOM leads and will continue to lead the discussion on what a museum is.

After a thorough and healthy debate among ICOM members, the Extraordinary General Assembly decided to postpone the vote on the new museum definition. The decision received 70.41% of the votes in favor of this postponement.

“It has been one of the most democratic processes in ICOM’s history,” said ICOM President Suay Aksoy. “The discussion continues and the MDPP standing committee (Committee for Museum Definition, Prospects and Potentials) will continue its work by interacting with all national and international committees to discuss the implementation and adoption of these new ideas. as they will probably appear in the new definition that will be proposed and in the amendment thereof. This is not the end, it is simply a new beginning in this process of redefinition. I invite all members to participate in the discussions as they move forward. ”

Since the creation of ICOM in 1946, the definition of the term  museum  by ICOM has evolved according to the main societal changes and the realities of the world museum community.

According to ICOM’s statutes, adopted at the 22nd General Assembly in Vienna, Austria, on August 24, 2007:

“The museum is a permanent non-profit institution, at the service of society and its development, open to the public, which acquires, preserves, studies, exhibits and transmits the tangible and intangible heritage of humanity and its environment to purposes of study, education and enjoyment. »

This definition is a reference in the world museum community.

Following the 2016 ICOM General Conference in Milan, a new Standing Committee was set up to study and amend this definition. The Committee for Museum Definition, Prospects and Potentials (MDPP, 2017 to 2019) aims to provide essential insight into the current definition as an international framework shared by all.