European Sport Museums Memorandum of collaboration
Networking and collaboration among cultural agencies in the frame of European Union is a subject of great importance for the European cultural policy, as it leads to knowledge exchange, recording of common cultural heritage and common European history, while it provides boundless potentials for promotion to co-operating agencies.
Beyond European borders, at universal level, culture is served by U.N.E.S.C.O., which has established the International Council of Museums (I.C.O.M.), which has the duty to organize under its auspices, organizations and councils, formulations that specialize in different sections of administrations os cultural heritage. In the frame of I.C.O.M. and as far as sports heritage is concerned, the International Association of Sports Museums and Halls of Fame has already been established, located in Chicago, U.S.A. Thessaloniki Olympic Museum is a member of both agencies.
From the first steps of the new museum, it became clear the new reality that has been shaped for the museums, which highlighted the need for a wider collaboration and promotion of the activities and of the personal aspect of the agency, in European level, at least. So, from the beginning of 2005 Sport Museum became a member of the International Sports Heritage Association and in 2006 it was accepted in the gulps of the International Council of Museums, inaugurating formally its international collaborations. Recording the common route as a one-way road and a necessary condition for a better museologic environment, in the ending of 2005 Sport Museum went ahead to organize European Sport Museum Congress. It was the first time for the Greek standards to gather representatives of European sport museums in a common place and convey the conservation and promotion policies of sport heritage. This networking act proved to be current and important, and revealed the lack that exists in Greece in promoting of sport heritage, but also showed to European colleagues the dynamic that Sport Museum developed, only a year after its formal establishment, playing a leading part though in European level. The congress accomplished with the assignment of “EUROPEAN SPORT MUSEUMS’ MEMORANDIUM OF COLLABORATION” and setting as next mission to shape the necessary conditions for the creation of a European union of sport museums. The first network initiative lead The Olympic Museum of Lausanne, a year later, to include Sport Museum, being the only representative from Greece, in the procedures of the preparative congress for the network of Olympic sport museums, where participated directors from Europe and Asia. The negotiations for the establishment of Olympic Museum Network accomplished on March 2007, when the relative Collaboration Establishment Memorandum, on the headquarters of the International Olympic Committee, in Lausanne.