I. European Union working groups and their achievements

a, The 2008-2010 OMC achievements :

State indemnity (pdf)

Long term loans (pdf)

Implementation of due diligence (pdf)

Report of the Working Group 2008-2010, a subgroup of the OMC Working Group on Mobility of Collections (pdf)


b, The 2010- 2012 OMC achievements :

A Report on Practical Ways to Reduce the Costs of Lending and Borrowing of Cultural Objects 2012 (pdf)

c, Lending to Europe: The first significant document of the effort advocating the mobility of collections was formulated by a group of international experts in 2004, during Netherland’s EU presidency. This report was entitled Lending to Europe.

The group consequently first identified the areas which it considered to be the main obstacles or conducive to the mobility of museum collections on a wider scale. It found the following subjects:

1. conduct and administration
2. value, non-insurance, indemnity and insurance
3. immunity from seizure
4. long term loans
5. loan fees
6. publications/copyrights
7. digitisation
8. trust

After elaborating on these topics, the group of experts formulates recommendations at all three levels concerned: the museum professionals, the Member States, and the EU Institutions.

Lending to Europe (pdf)


d, Encouraging Collections Mobility – A Way Forward for Museums in Europe:

Encouraging Collections Mobility – A Way Forward for Museums in Europe was launched on the 25th of September 2010 at the annual meeting of NEMO where the participants greeted the book with great enthusiasm.

Note: The page numbering of the pdf and the printed book differ from each other due to differences in their layout.

Should the museums stop hoarding and start concentrating on the better use of the already existing collections?

Should they have easier access to those parts of each other’s collections that are being underused?

Should museums start thinking differently?

Encouraging Collections Mobility – A Way Forward for Museums in Europe offers some starting points for working together and sharing collections. It provides information about the history of collecting and suggests different ways to approach the collections and collecting related activities. It proposes that museums should rather be encouraged to build collection strategies of the 21st century than repeating the old pattern that is based on the idea of eternal growth.

The book also looks into the value building process of museum objects and discusses some principles that determine the economic value of art and antiquities. It analyses the use of collections and suggests using them actively for the enjoyment of all who wish to have access to our cultural heritage. It explores the ways in which conservation and the care of objects affect the mobility of museum objects, and discusses, how the collections and their displays answer the needs of the contemporary visitor.

Specific collections mobility issues have also been addressed in this book. These issues include immunity from seizure, insurances, non-insurances and state indemnities, long-term loans, loan fees, and digitisation. It is also pointed out that standards, trust, and good networking form the basis for all co-operation. The material is completed by a practical guide to the Collections Mobility process: it pulls together current good practice in developing loans procedures and sets it out in a clear format.

Encouraging Collections Mobility is the ideal text for museum professionals, researchers and students who are determined to explore and research collections in order to open our rich collection resources and learn more about European heritage.

Encouraging Collections Mobility (pdf)


e, Action Plan for the EU Promotion of Museum Collections’ Mobility and Loan Standards: The lending and borrowing of cultural objects and works of art – the mobility of collections – are essential activities of museums. Best practices, commonly applied loan standards and guarantee schemes provided by EU Member States, encourage museums of various sizes and in all parts of the European Union to share a wider scope of cultural objects and thus help citizens in Europe to understand and enjoy the diversity of their common European cultural heritage.

This action plan contributes to the implementation of Council Resolution Nr 13839/ 04 that established mobility (works of art, art collections and exhibitions) as one of five priorities in the work plan for Culture 2005— 2006. The subsequent EU Presidencies were entrusted with continuous steps to improve cultural co-operation in the European Union. During the Austrian Presidency of the European Union a team representing six successive presidencies (2004—2007) met in Vienna in spring 2006 to draw up an action plan concerning loans for exhibitions between museums in the European Union 1. The draft action plan was discussed in the Encouraging the Mobility of Collections conference in Helsinki 21 July 2006 and endorsed by the Cultural Affairs Committee 17 October 2006. The document and its objectives arose from active efforts of the Council, the European Commission, EU Member States and experts to encourage the mobility of museum collections which has been taking place since 2002 2. The theme has been developed further in five major conferences in Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Finland 3. During the Netherlands Presidency a group of European museum experts prepared the report Lending to Europe which identifies the central thematic areas and contains practical recommendations for museums, member states and EU institutions. Lending to Europe was widely welcomed during the Council of Ministers of Culture on 23 May 2005.

Action Plan for the EU Promotion of Museum Collections_ Mobility and Loan Standards (pdf)


II.Other organizations and their achievements:


The so-called Bizot Group was established by the directors of the world’s most prominent art museums in 1992, on the initiative of Iréne Bizot, the chairman of the association of French museums (Réunion des Musées Nationaux). The group is formal, a new member, who is always the director of an institution, can only be admitted through an unanimous vote of all the members. Dr. Baán László, director general of the Museum of Fine Arts was admitted to the group in 2006. The group has regular meetings during which the conceptual, theoretical and practical matters of the day-to-day work and the cooperation of museums are discussed. The public knows little about the group’s work. They first published a statement in 2002 about the significance and the role of universal museums (Declaration on the Importance and Value of Universal Museums)[1] according to which the treasures acquired by great cultures in earlier decades do not only benefit the nation of the museum preserving the artworks , but all of humanity.

The document published by the group in1995 and later revised in 2005 was entitled General Principles on the Administration of Loans and Exchange of Works of Art between Institutions and has since become a significant reference. Museum directors participating in the group have all agreed to act upon the loan principles listed in the document with one another. The Group of Exhibition Organisers was requested by the Bizot Group to modernize these principles. In two instalments, the leaders of this group reformulated the chapters about couriers and artefact loans and later the conditions of photo rights in Budapest.

Loans (pdf)

Revised Loans Guidelines (pdf)

Revised Courier Guidelines (pdf)

Photographic permissions for the reproduction and photography of loans to exhibitions (pdf)

NMDC guiding principles for reducing museums_ carbon footprint (pdf)

Museum Environmental Conditions in an Era of Energy Constraint (pdf)

Museums and Climate Change (pdf)


b, NEMO:

The Network of European Museum Organisations (NEMO) was founded in 1992 as an independent network of national museum organisations representing the museum community of the member states of the Council of Europe. Together, NEMO’s members speak for over 30.000 museums across Europe.

NEMO connects European museums and their organisations to help to ensure their place in the cultural development of Europe.

NEMO fosters European policies that help museums in fulfilling their role as keepers of cultural heritage by promoting their importance to European policy makers.

NEMO supports European museums in their aim to learn from each other by networking and co-operation and shows them ways to participate in the existing European cultural policies in its function as an information channel between European institutions and museums.

NEMO believes that museums are key players in safeguarding cultural heritage and they are central figures on the way for a better understanding within Europe.

NEMO ensures museums are an integral part of European life by promoting their work and value to policy makers and by providing museums with information, networking and opportunities for co-operation.

Survey on Museums and Copyright (pdf)

Standard Loan Agreement for Temporary Exhibitions (pdf)

c, IEO:

The International Exhibition Organizers (IEO) is a group of experts in the field of exhibition organization and coordination. This group traces its origins back to 1999 when representatives of 7 art museums in the US formed the group of Exhibition Directors, Managers and Coordinators. By 2004, it grew to involve 64 members from 44 museums of 7 countries (US, Canada, France, Great Britain, Ireland, Mexico and Spain). From the 2004 Washington meeting evolved the second group: International Exhibition Organizers.

Among the main goals of this organization is to promote communication, cooperation and best practices, foster collegial and productive working relationships in art museums worldwide and provide a forum for discussion in order to find solution for common challanges of professionals of this field