Saint Petersburg hosted “Running a Museum”, UNESCO/ICOM Regional Training Workshop for the CIS countries
During June 29 to July 06, 2008, the UNESCO/ICOM Regional Training Workshop “Running a Museum” for the CIS countries was carried out in St. Petersburg, organized with the support of the UNESCO Moscow Office in association with the UNESCO Cluster Office in Almaty and UNESCO Office in Tashkent within the Agreement between UNESCO and Intergovernmental Foundation for Educational, Scientific and Cultural Cooperation (IFESCCO) on contribution to the capacity building of the museums in the CIS countries.
The Training was prepared and carried out by Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera) of the Russian Academy of Sciences in partnership with the State Hermitage Museum, the Russian Ethnographic Museum and the Russian Museum to prepare trainers and increase capacity of museum professionals in contemporary museum management on the base of the Museum Studies Training Package and manuals developed by UNESCO and ICOM.
The objectives of the training were: (i) to promote the role of museums as places for access to knowledge, (ii) to enhance the protection of cultural objects in the CIS countries, (iii) to reinforce museum networking among the CIS countries, (iv) to increase capacity of museum professionals in museum management and collection conservation, (v) to provide trainers from the CIS countries with necessary knowledge and skills to conduct national trainings based on the UNESCO/ICOM Museum Studies Training Package in their respective countries.
The Training programme was based on UNESCO recommendations related to museum staff professional training, and first of all on the Russian edition of the UNESCO’s publications of the “Running a Museum” series. Since their first release in 2004 these publications established a world-wide reputation of useful manual and guidebook to study museum business and to elaborate museum experts training programmes.
The museum principals and authorities of the Ministries of Culture of nine CIS countries came to St. Petersburg to take part in the Training, including participants from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kirgizstan, Republic of Moldova and the Russian Federation. The participants of the training discussed a broad range of issues related to key aspects of present-day museum life: professional ethics, security, guidelines of museum documentation, scientific description of collection items, storage and preventive conservation of collections, collection interpretation and exhibition arrangement, visitor’s service, legal aspects of museum work, and role of museum in prevention of illicit trade. During the training they received skills of development and approbation of educational programmes, as well as worked out recommendations for conducting national trainings and discussed perspectives of development of continuous museum education.
As a world range museum complex, St. Petersburg gives unique possibilities for conducting such a detailed professional training, which has made a big contribution to the development of cooperation between museums and specialists from the CIS countries.
The next task of the participants of the UNESCO/ICOM Training programme would be development and conducting of series of national trainings for museum professionals in their respective countries in 2009 under organizational and financial support of UNESCO and Intergovernmental Foundation for Educational, Scientific and Cultural Cooperation (IFESCCO).