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Asia-Europe Museum Networks (ASEMUS): 10th General Conference And 10th Anniversary

Project Period: Contact: Department: Programme: Theme:
08 Sep 10 - 11 Sep 10 Culture Department Asia-Europe Museum Network (ASEMUS) Culture

Paris (France)


The General Conference, which marked the 10th Anniversary of the ASEMUS, presented an opportunity for ASEMUS members to reflect on the network's development in the last decade. Participants addressed a strategic plan to enlarge the ASEMUS network to ASEM countries not yet represented, as well as to other key museums. They also discussed innovative ideas on gaining visibility, supporting innovative ideas for co-operation, and ensuring sustainability in the long run.

The theme of the conferencewas "Mapping," which was divided into three categories: Mapping Of Asian Collections, Mapping Of Asia-Europe Museum Engagements And Initiatives, and Mapping Of Institutions And Professionals. The format of the meeting included plenary sessions, presentation of case studies, and working groups. Memberswere also invited to present their institutions and activities and propose new projects.

ASEMUS is a cross-cultural network with a membership of over 70 museums in Asia and Europe.


Project Updates

  •  Participants at the ASEMUS General Conference in Paris, France. Former French President Mr Jacques Chirac (centre in blue suit) with Ambassador Dominique Girard, ASEF Executive Director to his left

    Over 80 museum representatives from 29 Asian and European countries met at musée du quai Branly, Paris, France, on 8-10 September for the Asia-Europe Museum Network’s(ASEMUS) General Conference to celebrate 10 years of exchanges furthering Asian heritage.

    At the Conference, members agreed to undertake an ambitious “mapping” project to document the collections of all the member museums and create a resource directory of heritage experts. This project will facilitate future joint collaborations between museums and enable better sharing of expertise and best practises.

    They also agreed to host the ASEMUS website as part of the Asia-Europe Foundation’s (ASEF) culture portal by ASEF in 2000, ASEMUS is a unique network for informal dialogue between museums dedicated to Asian heritage in the countries of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM).

    The network has helped member museums to put together successful collaborations, including the travelling exhibition, Self and Other: Portraits from Asia and Europe which involved the collections of 16 museums. This was seen by over 60,000 visitors. Another success story is the Virtual Collection of Masterpieces is an online project documenting over 1,600 art pieces from 83 museums. It also facilitates the exchange of knowledge and the sharing of experiences between museums through its Educational Exchange and Outreach Programme.

    The ASEMUS Conference in Paris also welcomed Russia to the ASEM process. Mr Alexander Sedov, Director of the State Museum of Oriental Art, Russia, said, “We will definitely join the [VCM] because we have many oriental masterpieces from Japan, Korea and China which could be added to this website. I think the idea of mapping museums with Asian collections is really great. We can add our museums to the worldwide map of museums with Asian collections.” The event keynote speaker was former French President Jacques Chirac, who is credited with having given impetus to creating the ASEM process in 1996. The Conference host, ASEMUS Chairman and President of musée du quai Branly, Mr Stéphane Martin, said, “Thanks to this network, colleagues from both sides of the Eurasian continent have connected. ASEMUS is truly becoming a cross-cultural network of collaboration between museums.”

  • Members of the Asia-Europe Museum Network (ASEMUS) gathered in Singapore on 13-14 May 2010 for a preparatory meeting to discuss and plan the Network’s upcoming General Conference on September 2010 in Paris.

    The General Conference marks the 10th anniversary of ASEMUS, on which occasion the Network aims to expand its membership to include more museums from other ASEM countries.  New partners are expected to actively carry forward the Network’s activities as well as identify and implement new projects and endeavours. The expected outcome of the conference will be a new ASEMUS action plan for implementation from 2011 to 2014. 

    During the meeting, participants discussed programme and agenda for General Conference, as well as established working groups for the planning of the network’s 10th Anniversary celebration. The meeting also explored new ideas regarding the future of the Network.

    Museum representatives from the musée du quai Branly (France), National Museum of the Philippines (Philippines), Asian Civilisations Museum (Singapore) and the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology (Vietnam) were present during the meeting. The National Museums of World Culture, Gothenburg (Sweden) and the ASEMUS secretariat were also in attendance. The meeting was organised in collaboration with musée du quai Branly (France).

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