The International Council of Museums (ICOM) is an international organization of museums and museum professionals which is committed to the
conservation, continuation and communication to society of the worlds natural and cultural heritage, present and future, tangible and intangible. Created in
1946, ICOM is a non-governmental organization maintaining formal relations with and having a consultative status with UNESCO. As a non-profit
organization, ICOM is financed primarily by membership fees and supported by various governmental and other bodies. Museums and individuals who are
members are part of a network with newsletters, and free or reduced entry to each others museums. It carries out part of UNESCOs programme for
museums. Based in Paris, France, the ICOM Headquarters houses both the ICOM Secretariat and the UNESCO-ICOM Museum Information Centre. ICOM
provides the policy basis for the operation of the .museum (dot-museum) top-level domain.
ICOM comprises international committees that focus on certain types of museums (e.g. art museums, military museums, transport museums, ethnographic
museums) and national committees that represent all the member nations. The international committees meet annually, as does the executive committee,
while there is a full general conference of ICOM every three years. The first meeting was held in Paris in 1948. In recent years, General Conferences have
been held in Seoul in 2004, the first meeting in Asia and in Vienna in 2007. The next ICOM General Conference will be in Shanghai in 2010.