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Code of Ethics

ICOM Code of Ethics for museums

Ethics and museum professionals’ exemplary practices are essential for ICOM.

ICOM Code of Ethics for museums
was adopted in 1986 and revised in 2004. It establishes the values and principles shared by ICOM and the international museum community. It is a reference tool translated to 38 languages and it sets minimum standards of professional practice and performance for museums and their staff.

By joining ICOM, each member commits to respect this code.

Key Concepts of Museology

Key concepts of museology

The International Committee of ICOM for Museology (ICOFOM) developed the booklet “Key Concepts of Museology”, an avant-première of the complete Dictionary of Museology, a reference tool that will provide museum professionals worldwide with a common language.

Read the "Key Concepts of Museology"

ICOM Missions

ICOM Missions

The International Council of Museums works for society and its development. It is committed to ensuring the conservation, and protection of cultural goods.





Establishing Standards of Excellence
ICOM sets standards for museums in design, management and collections organisation. The ICOM Code of Ethics for Museums is a reference in the global museum community. It establishes minimum standards for professional practices and achievements for museums and their employees. By joining ICOM, each member is committed to respecting this code.

Leading a Diplomatic Forum
ICOM is officially associated with multilateral international conventions on heritage. As a diplomatic forum made up of 141 countries and territories, it gathers international professionals, renowned for their contribution to culture.

Developing the professional network
With more than 35,000 members, ICOM is a unique professional network of institutions and museum professionals. ICOM brings together museum experts to discuss various museum-related themes.

Leading a Global Think Tank
ICOM's 30 International Committees conduct advanced research in their respective fields for the benefit of the  museum community. They discuss and reflect on museum-and heritage-related issues.

International Missions
ICOM carries out its international missions thanks to international mandates in association with partners such as UNESCO, INTERPOL and the World Customs Organisation (WCO). ICOM's missions include:

  • Fighting the illicit traffic of cultural goods
  • Risk management
  • Culture and knowledge promotion
  • Protection of tangible and intangible heritage
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