Monday, September 2nd, 2019

The International Council of Museums (ICOM) General Conference held once every three years aims for participants to broaden their experience and understanding of museums around the world. At this year’s 25th ICOM hosted by the city of Kyoto, it is the first time the conference is being held in Japan with a record number of more than 4,000 participants scheduled to participate.

At the ICOM opening ceremony attended by His Imperial Highness Prince Akishino and Her Imperial Highness Princess Akishino, MEXT Minister, SHIBAYAMA Masahiko, said in his complimentary address that the Japanese government also includes the promotion of museums among one of its growth strategies, and aims to create a virtuous cycle of cultural arts by utilizing museums as cultural hubs. The minister said through the ICOM Kyoto discussions, he hopes Japan will increase the effectiveness of its museums.

Minister Shibayama also attended an ICOM side event curated at the Nijo-jo Castle. The exhibition titled “Throughout Time: The Sense of Beauty” combines the museum’s collection with works by Japanese contemporary artists. The artworks are displayed in the kitchen and meal preparation area of the Nijo-jo Castle, a World Heritage Site.

The minister said the exhibition was befitting as a commemorative event for the ICOM Kyoto. He said the project was very interesting for its new approach of utilizing a museum collection to create dialogue between historic structures and contemporary art. He called on municipalities to draw on such projects.

Various issues will be discussed on the theme “Museums as Cultural Hubs” including the definition of museum and the sustainability of museums.
The ICOM runs until September 7th.

*    Official ICOM Kyoto Website (available in English)
*    Link to Exhibition “Throughout Time: The Sense of Beauty” (available in Japanese only)

Photo 1    MEXT minister visits exhibition “Throughout Time: The Sense of Beauty” in Nijo-jo Castle, guided by the exhibit advisor and Director of the Mori Art Museum Nanjo Fumio