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What exactly is a museum? This is the question that the International Council of Museums (ICOM) is asking its 45,000 members. As a worldwide organization of museum professionals, ICOM plays an important role in supporting professional networks, establishing museum standards, promoting cultural heritage, and raising public awareness of museum missions.
Currently, ICOM is working to create a formal definition of “museum”—a highly controversial topic. The list of potential definitions has been narrowed to five, and a vote will determine the final definition.
The following five essays represent the opinions of SEGD members on the pros and cons of ICOM’s proposed definitions.