The ICOFOM’s 41st symposium was kicked off last Monday in the National Museum’s building in the Iranian capital, and wrapped up on Friday.
67 museologists from Iran and 37 others from various countries took part in the five-day event which was held with the main theme of ‘Museology and the Sacred’.
In an address to the event, Iranian ICOM official Seyyed Ahmad Mohit-Tabatabaei said based on an earlier agreement during a 2016 meeting of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) in Italy’s Milan, it was decided to hold the annual symposium of ICOFOM in Tehran.
“The decision was finalized in a meeting in Paris in 2017 and the preparations began since then,” he said.
Despite obstacles created over the past year by the US sanctions and amid the current difficult situation that Iran is gripped with, the ICOM put its weight behind the Islamic Republic to hold the symposium, he added.
According to Mohit-Tabatabaei, the symposium consists of various programs including a workshop and several lectures.
“The lectures mainly dealt with the main theme of the symposium that is museum and the sacred. Iran was chosen as the host of the event not only due to its Islamic and Shiite background but also its cultural diversity. Iran is also home to over 300 historical churches,” he noted.
Elaborating on the reasons behind choosing Iran’s National Museum as the host of the event, he said the museum is located along a street which is recognized as a culturally diverse street in the capital Tehran including holy sites like a mosques, churches and museums.
“The street is culturally highly significant. Walking through the street, you can visit churches and various museums from religious to scientific and conceptual areas.” he said.
Jebreil Nokandeh, Director of the National Museum, then took the podium and said the event could contribute further to our understanding of museums in Iran and expand the concept of museum across the world.
“Museums and museologists can bring people together and pave the way for cultural dialogue across the world,” he noted.
Founded in 1977, the ICOFOM is aimed at promoting research and theoretical thinking within the museum world. It addresses the study of the theoretical foundation that guides museum activities around the world or, more generally, the analysis of the different forms that museums can take.