News & events > Adoption of the "Declaration of Funchal": Museums as Social Landmarks
22 Jun 2018

Adoption of the "Declaration of Funchal": Museums as Social Landmarks

In the context of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 and on the eve of last month's International Museum Day, the World Federation of Friends of Museums (WFFM) and the European Alliance of the International Council of Museums (ICOM Europe) promoted the adoption of a Declaration entitled "Museums, Social Landmarks". Known as the "Declaration of Funchal", for being formally adopted by the presidents of both organizations in the headquarters of the Regional Government of Madeira and subsequently publicly presented in City Hall of Funchal, Portugal, on May 11, the document serves to advocate the importance of museums and public policies in this area. The Declaration recalls the centrality of museums in the contemporary world and the great attachment of citizens to them, very visible, in the European case, as witnessed by the most recent Eurobarometer on Cultural Heritage. The very destructive effects on museums of the global financial crisis which began about a decade ago and which only a handful of countries have overcome in recent years, are also highlighted. In the current context of economic recovery, the two organizations consider it to be time to launch a set of strategic guidelines and operational measures, for both the museums and the governmental entities in each country:
  • Museums are encouraged, in particular, to promote community involvement, the launching of programmes especially geared towards young adults and the strengthening of the capacity to function as catalysts for local economic development.
  • Authorities are recommended to reinforce funding and to develop a whole new public policy agenda focused on creating or strengthening cooperative networks, promoting mobile exhibitions, sharing services and resources, and broadening the use of new digital technologies, potentiating new connections between museums (in line with the theme of this year's International Museum Day, calling for “hyper-connected museums”), and of these with their publics and the communities in which they are situated.
The Declaration of Funchal is available in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese on ICOM's website.