During its last meeting, held in Paris in December 1998, the Executive Council of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) discussed the issue of works of art confiscated from Jewish owners during the Second World War and kept in museums or public collections.
According to ICOM's Code of Professional Ethics, the Executive Council wished to reiterate that In all activities, museum employees must act with integrety and in accordance with the most stringent ethical principles as well as the highest standards of objectivity
Concerning the confiscation of Jewish works of art, the Executive Council of ICOM made the following recommendations to museum professionals around the world:
Created in 1946, ICOM is the international organisation of museums and professional museum workers. Composed of 15 000 members from around the world, ICOM is devoted to the promotion and development of museums and the museum profession.
In 1986, ICOM adopted a Code of Professional Ethics that every museum professional agrees to respect upon joining the Organisation. This Code, now translated in more than 20 languages, lays down precise rules governing the acquisition and de-accessioning of collections, and personal responsibility towards the collections, the public and the profession.
The Executive Council is ICOM's governing body. It is composed of 10 members elected triennially and chaired by Alissandra Cummins (Barbados), President of ICOM.