International museum conference kicks off in Kyoto

The Yomiuri ShimbunKYOTO — The 25th general conference of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) opened Sunday in Kyoto, with about 4,000 experts from more than 110 countries and territories gathering to discuss a wide range of topics, including the problems being faced by museums and the roles they should play.

ICOM has held a general conference every three years, and this is the first to take place in Japan. The latest session runs through Saturday at the Kyoto International Conference Center in Sakyo Ward.

Under the theme “Museums as Cultural Hubs: The Future of Tradition,” participants will discuss subjects such as challenges related to regional development, multiculturalism and disasters, looking for ways for museums to work toward the well-being of future generations while serving as cultural hubs.

At Sunday’s closed-door meetings, the heads of national and international committees on specific fields discussed action plans for the following year.

Following Monday’s opening ceremony, plenary sessions will discuss matters such as Asian art and how museums should respond to disasters, while international committees will also hold meetings. Resolutions are scheduled to be adopted at the General Assembly on Saturday, and keynote speeches will be given by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, Brazilian photographer Sebastiao Salgado and Chinese contemporary artist Cai Guo-Qiang.

ICOM is a nongovernmental organization established in 1946 in Paris to help promote museums. Currently, about 40,000 members represent about 140 countries and territories.

The Yomiuri Shimbun is one of the top-level Platinum sponsors for ICOM Kyoto 2019. An extra covering the opening of the conference both in Japanese and English was distributed to participants at the venue, and also to members of the public at JR Kyoto Station.Speech

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