August 22, 2023
The first anniversary of the 26th General Conference ICOM Prague 2022
Exactly one year ago, we launched the 26th General Conference ICOM Prague 2022. 3700 experts from 123 countries met here, both on site and virtually, and the programme included more than 600 events, including an international museum fair and 40 excursions to different regions of our homeland. The organization of the General Conference culminated the 60 years of efforts and work of the previous Czechoslovak and Czech ICOM committees, which since our first candidacy in 1962 had not given up the dream of realizing this extraordinary event to promote Czech museology and culture in general.
We undertook the demanding preparations in a difficult situation, and our work was furthermore interfered with by the COVID 19 pandemic; worldwide restrictions forced us to abandon our established procedures. But we succeeded and held the first hybrid conference in the history of ICOM. During the preparations, we were all also strongly affected by the Russian aggression in Ukraine on 24. 2. 2022. I am proud that we were able to help immediately and that we are still a model for many other countries in this respect. We handed over the ICOM flag – the baton of the General Conference – to Dubai, confident that we are confirming the motto of “our” General Conference: “Museums have the power to change the world around us”.
The members of the ICOM Czech Republic Board had and still have a huge responsibility. The conference itself may be over, but some of our commitments and oversight activities continue, and it is not always an easy job. However, we are filled with a sense of responsibility and the certainty that we are helping to improve the environment for museums, galleries and other cultural industries not only here but also abroad. A big thank you goes to the Ministry of Culture, headed by Martin Baxa, as well as to other ministries and institutions, without whose support we would not have been able to carry out the event.
My personal thanks go to my colleagues from the Board, from the Organising Committee Bureau and the ICOM Secretariat in Paris. However, the main thanks go to you, who contributed to the success of the General Conference by your active participation – the members and supporters of the ICOM Czech Republic Board.
It is an honour to work with you and I am happy that we have managed the preparation and implementation of the ICOM General Conference Prague 2022 together.
President ICOM Czech Republic