The International Council of Museums (ICOM) is an international organisation of museums and museum professionals which is committed to the conservation, continuation and communication to society of the world's natural and cultural heritage, present and future, tangible and intangible. Created in 1946, ICOM is a non-governmental organisation which maintains formal relations with UNESCO and has a consultative status with the United Nations' Economic and Social Council. As a non-profit organisation, ICOM is financed primarily by membership fees and supported by various governmental and other bodies. It carries out part of UNESCO's programme for museums. Based at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, ICOM’s office houses both the ICOM Secretariat and the UNESCO-ICOM Museum Information Centre. Organised through the activities of 116 National Committees and 29 International Committees, over 17,000 ICOM members in 140 countries participate in the various national, regional and international programmes of the organisation, which include workshops, publications, training, twinning programmes and the promotion of museums through the International Museum Day (18 May every year). Some National Committees have also organised on a regional level to reinforce their action. ICOM is affiliated with 14 international associations.
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