At the 26th ICOM General Conference, the Forum of Slavic Cultures and the International Council of Museums of South-Eastern Europe organised two round tables. The focus was on common roots and their importance in ensuring peace, and on the threat to heritage in states of emergencys such as war. The meeting was attended by 50 experts.
“The events jointly organised by the FSK and ICOM SEE at the ICOM General Conference are an important step on our common path. We believe that SEE has a lot to teach the rest of the old continent and the world,” said Dr. Andreja Rihter, Director of the FSK, after the round tables attended by 50 experts from different countries, adding that the common message is: “… let us all be up to our historical and ethical task. Let us remain experts while helping others to understand not only our own, but universal values. Let us value our heritage as a common one – and never fail this fundamental test of human justice.”
War was the focus of a panel discussion on heritage at risk, which was attended also by experts from Ukraine and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The panellists discussed the protection of collections and buildings, as well as the interpretation of social changes that help to understand why war situations occur in the first place.
In the light of the central theme of this year’s General Conference, which highlights the power of museums, it was stressed that one of the main tasks of museologists over the last thirty years has been to show the world that heritage and history are not something old and ancient, but on the contrary, very contemporary.
The introductory get-together of ICOM SEE and FSK members was hosted by the Czech National Museum of Agriculture. The participants were addressed by the Director, Zdeněk Novák, and joined by the Ambassador of the Republic of Slovenia in Prague, H.E. Tanja Strniša. The cultural programme featured a performance by Czech soprano, Markéta Fassati.