Madagascar reviews outcomes of UNESCO-ICCROM-ICOM Madagascar ‘Re-Org’ preventive conservation programme
On 22 October 2021 at the headquarters of the Malagasy Academy Tsimbazaza in Antananarivo, Madagascar, the International Council of Museums National Committee in Madagascar (ICOM Madagasikara), in collaboration with the Ministry of Communication and Culture, UNESCO, and the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM), and with generous funding from the Embassy of Japan in Madagascar, organized a restitution ceremony to present the successful outcomes of the UNESCO project ‘Preventive Conservation of the royal collections in Andafiavaratra Palace Museum’.
Ms. Lalatiana Andriatongarivo Rakotondrazafy, Minister of Communication and Culture of Madagascar opened the ceremony alongside H. E. Mr. Higuchi Yoshihiro, Ambassador of Japan to Madagascar.
In her intervention delivered by video message, Ms. Karalyn Monteil, Programme Specialist for Culture at the UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa, applauded the success of the Re-Org Programme in Madagascar and thanked the Government of Japan for their generous funding of the project between 2017 and 2019 as well as their ongoing support of the culture sector in Madagascar. “I hope the achievements of the Re-Org programmme in Madagascar will inspire other museums as well as other countries in the region to use the Re-Org methodology to ensure the preventive conservation of their museum collections”, said Ms. Monteil.
The Re-Org methodology was developed by UNESCO and ICCROM in 2011 to help museums improve the management of their collections in reserve and their use while respecting traditional know-how, local knowledge and cultural diversity.
The ceremony included case study presentations of the successful outcomes of the Re-Org project in Madagascar, which benefitted 26 professionals from 12 national museums and raised awareness among the local museum communities and visitors of the importance of preserving Madagascar’s rich and diverse cultural heritage collections. Participants were also invited to a guided tour of the reorganized storage areas of the Tsimbazaza Museum.
ICOM Madagascar also used the restitution ceremony as a belated celebration of International Museum Day since the national celebration was postponed due to Covid-19.
Following the achievements of the Re-Org programme in Madagascar, UNESCO and ICCROM have developed a project proposal entitled Re-Org|Africa to raise capacities for preventive conservation of museum collections in storage in the Africa region. International support is actively being sought to support this regional initiative.