ICOM-verklaring conflict Israël-Palestina

We sluiten ons aan bij de verklaring van ICOM over het conflict tussen Israël en Palestina.

The International Council of Museums (ICOM) expresses its deep concern about the current violence affecting Israeli and Palestinian civilians and deplores the significant humanitarian consequences that the conflict has had over the past weeks. ICOM extends its sincerest condolences to those who have lost family, friends, and community due to the violence. 

ICOM stands firm in its commitment to preserving cultural heritage and recalls the imperative of all parties to respect international law and conventions, including the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict and its two protocols. 

ICOM also warns against the potential increase in the smuggling and destruction of cultural objects due to the conflict in the affected region and recalls international legal obligations that work to prevent the illicit import, export, and transfer of cultural property, such as the 1970 UNESCO Convention and the 1995 UNIDROIT Convention.

ICOM thus expects an immediate ceasefire in respect of international humanitarian law in order to prevent further loss of human life and safeguard cultural heritage – which is essential to our collective humanity – and reaffirms its commitment to the principles of peace, understanding, and unity through the preservation and protection of cultural heritage. 

Afbeelding: Visitors Viewing Guernica by Pablo Picasso via Getty Image

De voorzitster van ICOM schreef volgend voorwoord in de laatste nieuwsbrief

Writing a message in these days of war is as painful as it is significant.
In addition to the recent ICOM statement concerning Israel and Palestine, I want to personally express to our members my denunciation of terrorism, human rights violations, and forced displacement of the population. Picasso represented the atrocities of war in Guernica. His powerful representation shows the universality of art and the depiction of horror. We hope that our organization will reunite the concerned world in a unanimous response of condemnation of violence.
However, this still cannot alleviate the pain caused by so many casualties and so much destruction, and the destruction of museums and cultural heritage is equally severe in one war field as it is in the other. Losing cultural heritage means that life, memory, culture, and therefore identity are lost. The International Council of Museums is a Non-Governmental Organization that fosters cooperation and puts its core focus on the museum community around the world and the respect for human rights. In this regard, on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and in the perspective of the Human Rights Day on the 10th of December, ICOM is organising a webinar with the aim of encouraging meaningful actions and promoting the role of museums in advancing and protecting human rights.
Moreover, ICOM is currently working to preserve cultural heritage in disrupted areas with its Strategic Allocation Review Committee (SAREC) which just opened the “2024 ICOM Special Projects Grants” and the “Solidarity in Times of Crisis 2024” Calls for Projects.  
Let us commit ourselves to working together and achieve a common goal in our own sphere: let’s unite culture for peace!

Emma Nardi, ICOM President