Following ICCROM’s 2010 survey, it was recognized that 60% of museum collections are at serious risk due to overcrowding and poor storage conditions. Immediately afterwards, ICCROM launched the development of the RE-ORG methodology in partnership with UNESCO. As a result, the General Assembly of ICCROM urged the 134 Member States to consider this major issue in November 2013. The international RE-ORG programme was launched. The methodology developed for this programme has since been applied in Argentina, Canada, India, Iraq, and Serbia.
On 14 September, ICCROM launched its most recent RE-ORG workshop in partnership with the Chinese State Administration of Cultural Heritage (SACH) and the Chinese Academy of Cultural Heritage (CACH).
The workshop is being hosted by the Wuhou Temple, one of Chengdu’s major attractions with approximately 3 million visitors per year. The temple complex contains statues of Emperor Liu Bei, Zhuge Liang and other officials of the Shu Kingdom, as well as ancient Chinese inscriptions and tablets. The 20 museum professionals come from Burkina Faso, China, Egypt, Fiji, Greece, Guatemala, Italy, Mexico, Nigeria, Poland, and Portugal. They have been organized into groups and are being guided by a team of five professionals from France, Belgium, China, India, and Serbia – three of whom are former participants of past RE-ORG workshops!
The Director General of ICCROM, Dr. Stefano De Caro has said:
“It is an extraordinary opportunity that is bringing together professionals from five different continents thanks to the generous invitation and support provided by the Government of China, and to enhance our international partnership and friendship.”
The workshop includes an intense practical project in which participants are involved in planning and rearranging the collection of over 4,000 objects of the Wuhou Shrine storage. They work in collaboration with the museum staff, applying the RE-ORG methodology. This includes analyzing management, building and space, collection, furniture and small equipment.
A revised version of the RE-ORG methodology has been prepared in the form of a workbook for all participants. The workshop will continue until 25 September 2015. All participants already have plans to use this experience and implement a RE-ORG project at their home institution.