The Declaration of Funchal identifies the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 as a potential catalyser for the recognition of cultural heritage and museums’ importance for a strong shared European identity. The signatories hope to reverse the last years’ trend of financial cuts within the museum sector by showcasing museums’ significance. ICOM Europe and WFFM have drafted the guidelines below to help facilitate museums’ mission towards society:
- After years of budget cuts and in a time of economic recovery, public authorities, guardianship institutions and museum trustees shall improve the level of financial support to museums allowing them to better deliver their services to community.
- Museums are then able to generate significant economic benefits through areas such as jobs, tourism, investment and urban regeneration, and should be seen by public authorities as catalysts for local economic development.
- Citizens can be made more aware of the cultural importance of museums to their lives and be encouraged to take active participation in their promotion and safeguard.
- Museums shall take measures to develop community engagement and to improve their role as dynamic inclusive institutions, namely by promoting the establishment of associations of friends of museums.
- Museums shall work to broaden their audiences with special attention to the engagement of young adults, through a thorough research of their needs and interests.
- A new agenda of public policies towards museums should focus on networking and include travelling exhibitions, shared services (restoration, inventory, digitalization, insurances, marketing/advertising, etc.), shared resources (researchers, other staff, etc.), wider use of new technologies (especially in the domain of digitalization, mainly 3D registering and Virtual or Augmented Reality).