ICOM Museum Charter
The statute of the International Council of Museums (ICOM).
The ICOM Statutes were adopted by the 16th General Assembly of ICOM (The Hague, The Netherlands, 5 September 1989), amended by the 18th General Assembly of ICOM (Stavanger, Norway, 7 July 1995), and amended again by the 20th General Assembly of ICOM (Barcelona, Spain, 6 July 2001).
Article 2 - Definitions
1. A museum is a non-profit making, permanent institution in the service of society and of its development, and open to the public, which acquires, conserves, researches, communicates and exhibits, for purposes of study, education and enjoyment, material evidence of people and their environment.
(a) The above definition of a museum shall be applied without any limitation arising from the nature of the governing body, the territorial character, the functional structure or the orientation of the collections of the institution concerned.
(b) In addition to institutions designated as "museums" the following qualify as museums for the purposes of this definition:
(i) natural, archaeological and ethnographic monuments and sites and historical monuments and sites of a museum nature that acquire, conserve and communicate material evidence of people and their environment;
(ii) institutions holding collections of and displaying live specimens of plants and animals, such as botanical and zoological gardens, aquaria and vivaria;
(iii) science centres and planetaria;
(iv) non profit art exhibition galleries;
(v) nature reserves;
(vi) international or national or regional or local museum organizations, ministries or departments or public agencies responsible for museums as per the definition given under this article;
(vii) non-profit institutions or organizations undertaking conservation, research, education, training, documentation and other activities relating to museums and museology;
(viii) cultural centres and other entities that facilitate the preservation, continuation and management of tangible or intangible heritage resources (living heritage and digital creative activity); and
(ix) such other institutions as the Executive Council, after seeking the advice of the Advisory Committee, considers as having some or all of the characteristics of a museum, or as supporting museums and professional museum personnel through museological research, education or training.
2. Professional museum workers include all the personnel of museums or institutions qualifying as museums in accordance with the definition in Article 2, para. 1, having received specialized training, or possessing an equivalent practical experience, in any field relevant to the management and operations of a museum, and independent persons respecting the ICOM Code of Professional Ethics and working for museums as defined above, either in a professional or advisory capacity, but not promoting or dealing with any commercial products and equipment required for museums and services.