The First BRICS Alliance of Museums Conference at NMC
On October 25, 2018, the representatives from the Brazilian Academy of Museum, the State Historical Museum of Russia, National Museum, New Delhi, and Ditsong Museums of South Africa, as well as the National Museum of China (NMC) attended the First BRICS Alliance of Museums Conference at NMC. They witnessed the founding of the BRICS Alliance of Museums, and shared views on win-win cooperation between museums in BRICS countries, laying a solid foundation for pragmatic cooperation in the future.
Gu Yucai, Vice Minister of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, said in his welcoming remarks that the inaugural conference was a milestone in the exchange and cooperation between museums in BRICS countries. He hoped that the countries could further strengthen connectivity in museum resources to promote sustained and healthy cooperation on a larger scale and at a deeper level.
Wang Chunfa, Director of NMC, noted in his opening address that BRICS countries are home to a legion of UNESCO’s World Cultural Heritages and have rich cultural wealth, and national museums assume the historical responsibility of protecting, inheriting and carrying forward these heritages. “The members of the BRICS Alliance of Museums meet for the first time in Beijing today, which is of great significance in blazing a new trail in the cooperation between BRICS countries. We believe that through joint efforts, our cooperation will surely yield fruitful results,” he said.
Members of the BRICS Alliance of Museums signing the Declaration
At the conference, the attendees discussed matters relating to the establishment of the alliance, the cooperation mechanisms and the five-year cooperation plan. They adopted the constitution of the Alliance, and signed the Declaration and MOU. The conference announced the official establishment of the BRICS Alliance of Museums, of which Dr. Wang Chunfa, Director of NMC, will be the first chair.
The conference represents a step to implement the instructions of General Secretary Xi Jinping. At the BRICS Summit in Xiamen in 2017, he emphasized that “the friendship between nations lies in the close relationship between people”. Strengthening people-to-people exchanges between BRICS countries and enabling the concept of partnership to take root in the hearts of the peoples is an undertaking worthy of long-term efforts. At this year’s BRICS Summit in Johannesburg, General Secretary Xi Jinping proposed joint touring exhibitions by the BRICS alliances of museums, art museums, national galleries, and libraries and closer cooperation in cultural, creative and tourism industries and at the sub-national level. “This way, we can spread the BRICS story far and wide to further enhance the mutual understanding and traditional friendship among our people,” he said.
The conference is also a key achievement in implementing the spirit of the Second Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Culture. NMC, as the initiator of the BRICS Alliance of Museums, successfully hosted the first conference, where a series of consensuses were reached. According to the Alliance Declaration, the museums will carry out exchanges and cooperation within the framework of the Alliance, and convene a conference every two years. In the next five years, the members of the Alliance will hold joint touring exhibitions, organize academic exchanges and training, and establish the official website for the alliance to strengthen mutual trust, advance information sharing, and jointly promote the cultural heritages of BRICS countries.
The academic forum of the conference will be held at NMC on October 26.