A Message from Daniel Ben-Natan, President of the WFFM
The following message arrived on November 8th, 2009 from Daniel Ben-Natan, President of the WFFM.
The WFFM is on the move!
I have just returned from Seoul, the capital of the Republic of Korea, where I was invited as President of the WFFM to join eight other distinguished (they, not me) speakers for an International Forum on: THE DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY OF MUSEUMS IN THE 21st CENTURY AND BEYOND in celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the National Museum of Korea (NMK).
The other speakers included: Alissandra Cummins, President of ICOM, Dr Mikhail Piotrovsky, the Director of the State Hermitage Museum in St.Petersburg, Julian Raby, Director of the Freer Gallery of Art of the Smithsonian Institution of Washington, the Directors of the National Museums of Korea (our host) Japan and China.The Director of the National Museum of Ethnology of the Netherlands, the Chair of the Asia – Europe Museum Network, and the Chairman of the Pacific Islands Museums Association.
The audience of the International Forum included Museum Directors from all of Asia and Curators of Korean art and heritage from all over the world, in addition to local museum lovers, the press etc.
I spoke on the topic of: THE FRIENDS AND VOLUNTEERS; SOCIAL CONTRIBUTIONS AND FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR MUSEUMS and emphasized the role of the WFFM and the growing importance of the friends and volunteers to Museum in the 21st Century.The WFFM was introduced and featured during all the Centennial celebrations including the formal ceremony with the First Lady of Korea, the Minister of Culture and so on and so forth. During my visit two interviews with me were published in the local press ( I know, as my picture appears although I obviously can’t read the interviews,,,) and I was interviewed on the national television.
Thus, one of our principal strategic goals of increasing the visibility and relevance of the WFFM were advanced considerably.
I took advantage of our time in Seoul to discuss with Alissandra Cummins ways and means of strengthening the relationship between ICOM and the WFFM, and with many of the Museum Directors present, the importance of the Friends and the WFFM and asked them to encourage their Friends Associations where they exist to consider joining the WFFM. I also offered our help to those Museums without Friends groups to date, on how to establish such groups.
Of not less importance was a meeting I held with the leadership of the Association of Friends of the National Museum of Korea, a very impressive group, who have now applied for Associate membership in the WFFM and undertook to establish a national Federation in Korea who would then apply for Active membership. One of their leadership will be coming to the May Council and General Assembly weekend in Lisbon. This is a very significant breakthrough for us in Asia, which is our relatively weakest region with only one Active member and a handful of Associate members.
In addition, I am pleased to report that the Friends of the National Museum of Colombia: Asociacion de Amigos del Museo Nacional de Colombia have joined the WFFM as an Associate Member.
This is the time to remind you that registration for the Lisbon Council and General Assembly, May 20-23,2010 is now in full swing. Our hosts, the Portuguese Federation of Friends, have prepared for us an outstanding program and we have worked hard to ensure that the work meetings will be short and effective. It would be very helpful for our hosts for us to register now.
We would be grateful for Federation and Association Presidents to forward the invitation and registration package to their membership or send us lists with e-mail or mailing addresses to enhance participation in Lisbon.
As in the past, I take advantage of my business trips on behalf of the Israel Museum to promote WFFM matters. Thus during a recent trip to Toronto I met with the leadership of the Canadian Federation of Friends of Museums led by Joan Goldfarb and Marie Tremblay McNiven, and discussed ways and means of strengthening the CFFM and the relationship with the WFFM. When in New-York, I met with Murray Tarnapoll, our Treasurer, to discuss budgetary matters.
Finally, I will be attending the Hamburg meeting of the European region of the WFFM, November 10 & 11 under the leadership of Vice President for Europe, Jean-Michel Raingeard and hosted by our German Association.
Please feel free to share this message with your membership. The more communication and transparency in our World Federation, the better.
Best regards and all good wishes,