international committee for the collections and activities of museums of cities

ICOM Code of Ethics for Museums

The cornerstone of ICOM is its ICOM Code of Ethics for Museums. It sets minimum standards of professional practice and performance for museums and their staff. In joining the organisation, ICOM members undertake to abide by this Code.






Our Facebook page aims to keep abreast of CAMOC activities and to collaborate with other members.  We also have up to date news items from across the world about our artefact, the city, and about city museums and relevant conferences or seminars about cities and urban life.   Our entry is edited by  Jenny Chiu, Japan and Andrea Delaplace, France.



Links to other organisations

In addition, we have a string of links to organisations which are relevant to what we do such as UN Habitat, UNESCO's  World Heritage Centre

ICCROM ... They are listed under Resources.  

This link is one of the most accessible for up to date developments in cities and urban living: The Guardian  



Some themes: 



James Joyce in Dublin - the great flâneur, the stroller, the observer of life on the streets in his native city and later in Trieste and Paris.  

Of course, he is hardly the only one - world literature is full of flâneurs.  You are the flâneur, or the flâneuse? So, you walk along a back street or an alleyway, you observe, you take note, you reflect on city life around you. You wonder about that building, that street corner.   What does that man or woman over there do for a living? James Joyce wrote Ulysses out of it all.

Then there's the endless vitality and variety of street life.  It confirms the city as our greatest artefact.  


***Sensory Lanscapes of Istanbul, E.Esra Satici, Şeya Çetin, CAMOC Review 04/2016 pp 21-24 



In Tongli, China.  

Tongli is one of the old silk towns in the Yangtze basin.  The silk industry declined and so did the town.  One of our keynote speakers at our Shanghai conference was Professor Ruan Yisan who is dedicated to recording and safeguarding Chinese historic towns and cities. He was responsible for bringing Tongli back to life and giving it a new purpose as a thriving tourist centre and saving its ancient water system.  

City museums are witness to cities as they develop and change: their past, their present and their future prospects.

*** The Future City Lab. at the Museum of the City of New York.  See also Confronting New York's Present and Future, Dr Sarah M. Henry, CAMOC's 2017 conference, Mexico City.



The past was the future once.

If we were condemned to live without memory, we would be living in an endless present with no trace of the past.  Life would be unbearable.

There has hardly been a conference where we have not discussed memory, the city's past, in one form or another: tracing the development of our city in the city museum; ways of interpreting the past; the connections between the city's past, present and future; the delights and dangers of nostalgia; and the theme for our conference in Mexico City: contested histories, or to put it another way - you tell me your truth and I'll tell you mine.

*** Listening to Huta, Maria Waçhała-Skindzier/Daniel Borowski, CAMOC Review ISSN 2520-2472 01/2018 p 5



The museum without walls is our recurring theme. How do we get local people, our  citizens, involved in our museum?  They are, after all, our main artefact.  

There are so many possibilities: the city museum as a centre for debate and discussion about the city; the museum as a meeting point for politicians and citizens to discuss city problems - drugs, for example, or traffic congestion or pollution; the museum as a home for migrants where they can share memories; the active museum helping migrants integrate with local society.  

It helps to get people involved in shaping the future of their city.  

Can the museum act as an agent for change? Should  it? Will it be compromised if it does?  That is one of the debates in our Review and in our conferences.

Urban decay. A rat by Banksy

***Updating Den Gamla By and Focussing on Being an Inclusive Museum, Thomas Bloch Ravin, CAMOC Review 02/2017 ISSN 2520-2472 pp 1-4

Involving Citizens: Snapshot of Some European Cities, Layla Betti, Our Greatest Artefact, the City, CAMOC, Istanbul 2012 pp 53-65



Demonstrators protesting the killing of journalists in Paris


Cites are home to migrants, conflict and revolutions.  

Courtesy Atelier Populaire and Philippe Vermes

They are where we protest and demonstrate.Protests and marches in Paris, Caracas, Moscow, Hong Kong, London...Earlier we had Paris in 1968 and the Prague Spring. All recorded over and again in city museums.   


***Protesting Now: Collecting for the Future, Charlotte Hall, CAMOC Review, 03/2017 ISSN 2520-2472 pp 9-10



A street in Seoul

Cities make for great literature - Tolstoy's Moscow, Dostoevsky's Petersburg, Eric Hazan's Paris, Orhan Pamuk's Istanbul: the city seen through another eye. Perhaps it is the poets and novelists, rather than the textbooks, who give us the sharpest insights on city living.  

At our conference in Rio we joined ICLM, ICOM's international committee for literary museums to reflect on the tension between fictional and factual interpretations of  the city.  We had readings by our colleagues from texts about the city. Layla Betti for example read from Pier Paulo Pasolini on Rome:

"I always tell everyone...that Rome is the most beautiful city in the world...But would Rome be the most beautiful..if it were not at the same time the ugliest? "

Vladimir Tolstoy reading from his great-great grandfather's work at our conference in Rio





Seoul 2008


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