Short summary of the Collections Mobility 2.0 project in Madrid

On May 31st and June 1st the first event of the C.M. 2.0 project took place in Madrid. Around 60 museum professionals, differing from collections managers to directors of (mostly) art museums around Europe, gathered to learn more about possible pitfalls and possibilities regarding the European mobility of collections.

In advance of the extensive summary of the meeting, we give you some interesting quotes and remarks that were noted down by Susanna Lopez, Head Registrar and exhibitions area of the Museo Nacional d’Art de Catalyna, who concluded the whole meeting:

“Many of the medium and smaller size museums do not often participate in major temporary exhibitions either because of lack of ambition, or lack of resources, funds and expertise.” (Nickos Gogolos, Registrar Museum of London)

“Legal disputes over the ownership of cultural objects have increased, so immunity from seizure has become a real concern for museums.” (Nout van Woudenberg, researcher at University of Amsterdam/ Legal Counsel, International Law Division at Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Netherlands)

“When I started working in the MNAC in 1993, the museum’s average loan agreement was half a page long; it is now seven pages, usually with some appendixes attached to it.” (Susanna Lopez, head registrar and exhibitions area Museo Nacional d’Art de Catalunya)

“The idea of a lingua franca, a shared understanding of how we care for, interpret and present objects is a key factor in the building of trust between museums in order to facilitate mobility of collections.” (Nick Poole, Chief Executive Officer at Collections Trust)

“Insurance policies for cultural objects have also increased their list of clauses and they are long and complex to understand; it would save energy for everyone if the brokers agreed upon a standard.” (Hans Buurman, Deputy director at Gemeentemuseum Den Haag)

“Is it really necessary to insure everything at all times or could we think of alternatives to the well-known nail-to-nail formula?” (Hans Buurman, Deputy director at Gemeentemuseum Den Haag)

“Lenders have to start reducing insurance costs by not obliging the borrower to take the Lender’s insurance broker” “Museum should avoid concluding agreements with insurance companies/insurance brokers on sharing the profit related to the premium paid by a partner institution” (Hans Buurman, Deputy director at Gemeentemuseum Den Haag)

“The possibility of a European indemnity scheme, even though very attractive, is difficult to create because of funding: the Commission should allocate a certain amount in the budget in order to answer to possible claims, which in the current financial climate is very unlikely.”

“Concerning long term loans we usually insist on the liability if the borrower is a public museum but from case to case we are able to abstain from the need for an insurance during the stay but not for the transportation from nail to nail.” (Günther Schauerte, Deputy General Director State Museums Berlin)

“Provenance research is one of the basic duties of the museums regarding two principles. On the one hand provenance research is part of the serious scientific work of the museums and on the other hand is part of due diligence in regards of spending public money – money from all the millions of tax payers” (Günther Schauerte, Deputy General Director State Museums Berlin)

“We live in times of uncertainties, when exhibitions are cancelled, expansion programmes are postponed and even jobs are lost. We must look for support wherever is possible, but never forget, as the old proverb says that “the best way to find a helping hand is at the end of your own arm”. (Susanna Lopez, head registrar and exhibitions area Museo Nacional d’Art de Catalunya)

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