• Regional training in Museum Management Issues for South Caucasus Region Museums

  • In the issues of researches made by UNESCO and the experts of Museum management in recent years it had cleared up that there are problems common to museums in the South Caucasus countries (Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia) and it gets into closer contact with the severe shortage of state funding and especially, with the lack of access to necessary expertise and training in modern museum management and practices.

    According to the above-mentioned and the crucial role that museums play in fostering, safeguarding and promoting cultural heritage and identity, ICOM National Committee in Georgia developed the project entitled “Training in Museum management Issues for South Caucasus Region Museums”; ICOM (International Council of Museums) expressed goodwill and within the framework of the contribution ICOM’s to 60th Anniversary and SPECIAL PROJECTS GRANT FOR 2007 funded the project, which had foreseen participation of museum workers of the South Caucasus countries (Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia) in the training (co-financing: Ministry of Culture, Monuments Protection and Sport of Georgia).

    ICOM National Committee in Georgia in collaboration with INTERCOM (International Committee on Management) developed programme of the training. The main aim of the training was to discuss those common problems, what especially needs development. The training took place on February 4th-8th, 2008 at Georgian National Museum in Tbilisi. The speakers were INTERCOM experts: Christian Waltl (Board member) and Marilyn Scott (The Lightbox, director, Woking, UK). 23 museum workers of the South Caucasus countries (directors, deputy directors, curators, and managers) have participated in the training. There have reviewed the issues of strategic planning, museum management, audience development, museum learning, and visitor service, developing the museum of the 21st century and others during the sessions. The training programme involved not only lectures and presentations, but highly practical demonstrations and several sessions of group work. This meant that participants became familiar with some information, even very important for them, and had the possibility of envisaging the application of this information to concrete situations in their own museums.

    Together with giving exceptionally practical and necessary information, it was very important to hold the training for the representatives of three countries of the South Caucasus, in order that they were given the possibility of discussing together the ways of solving common problems and planning future perspectives of collaboration.

    “Training in Museum management Issues for South Caucasus Region Museums” had provoked big interest of museum workers and it was very important in several points of view. The first is that the training of this professional level is exceptionally needed in all three countries of the South Caucasus participating in the training, in order to reach the international modern standards. This is unimaginable without appropriate training of museum specialists and development of the modern museum management and educational or the other programmes. Otherwise the museums in region risk loosing their appeal to the public, as well as the ability to maintain cultural heritage for future generations.

    “Training in Museum management Issues for South Caucasus Region Museums” was held successfully and fulfilled all aims of the training, including realizing ICOM Strategic Plan objectives: ICOM generates and disseminates knowledge and it is proactive. The training programme was very helpful, interesting and inspiring for all participants. Collaboration with INTERCOM was very fruitful for ICOM National Committee in Georgia and helped its subsequent development and ongoing reforms in museum field in the country. 

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    Ministry of Culture and Monuments Protection of Georgia, ICOM National Committee in Georgia, Georgian Museums Association, Culturological Research Association