COVID-19 | Stay connected with ICOMOS and cultural heritage colleagues
The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting an ever growing number of countries and having a profound impact on our lives for a presently unforeseeable period of time. Our primary concern is the safety and well-being of our members, friends, and all parts of the extended ICOMOS family. ICOMOS expresses its solidarity with all those who are on the front-line fighting to contain this outbreak, care for its victims, and maintain civic life, and those who have already been directly affected in their wellbeing or have lost loved ones.
As of Monday 16 March, the ICOMOS International Secretariat staff in Paris has been working from home to ensure their safety and comply with instructions issued by the French government. The team continue to be at your service via email – firstname.lastname@example.org – and will endeavour to maintain ICOMOS activities as best possible. We will keep you informed if and when we can reopen the physical office.
Due to the closure of all non-essential businesses and industries in France, the manufacture of membership cards is unfortunately suspended for the time being. Furthermore, the Secretariat team being not allowed to go to its offices to prepare mailings as long as the containment measures are in force, the membership cards will not be sent to National Committees until further notice. We apologise for the inconvenience and will of course keep the Committees and members informed of further developments as soon as possible.
The ICOMOS Documentation Centre is closed for the time being– but we encourage you to explore its on-line resources and in particular the Open Archive and Photobank. If you are having to stay at home – why not use the time to upload your scientific work into the archive and your images of cultural heritage sites or conservation practice into the ICOMOS tools to share them with your colleagues.
We also encourage you to follow us via the ICOMOS social media accounts:
As you can see from this article, we are encouraging the ICOMOS network and beyond to celebrate the 18 April – International Day for Monuments and Sites – virtually via social media and the internet – as many events will have to be cancelled.
In what concerns events, you will also see a message from the organisers of the ICOMOS GA2020 in Sydney who are closely monitoring developments.
We are also writing to all ICOMOS Committees asking them to put safety first, follow instructions of their authorities and consider electronic means to maintain meetings or elections.
To maintain connections and cohesion among colleagues during this time of necessary social-distancing, the ICOMOS International Secretariat is putting in place more capacity for on-line communication via ZOOM.
ICOMOS members who wish to use the ICOMOS Zoom accounts should consult this guide.
This pandemic is having dramatic consequences on economies and livelihoods, international connections and travel, the way we live and work, sometimes already fragile cultural institutions and sites, but also the stronger ones, the people they employ and the communities that are linked to them – and by definition therefore also our shared cultural heritage. It is also giving rise to creative solutions to allow continued virtual access to cultural sites and support the culture sector. As of now we must prepare to learn from this experience and share the insights we will gain in our respective countries to prepare for tomorrow.
Please take care and stay safe!
Photo credits: Lucile Smirnov
Update on the 18 April - International Day for Monuments and Sites