The Museum Council of Iceland

 The Museum Council of Iceland is an advisory board for the Icelandic Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, and deals with various tasks regarding cultural, art, and natural history museums in accordance with Act no.141/2011 (Museum Act). The Museum Council assesses applications from museums that seek accreditation according to the Museum Act, and prepares a proposal for the Minister of Education, Science and Culture that issues the accreditation. As of now, there are 45 accredited museums in Iceland, see the relevant list (with links) here.

Principal Museums

There are three principal museums in Iceland that form strategies for other museums in their respective fields; The National Gallery, The Museum of Natural History, and the National Museum of Iceland. These principal museums are state-funded.

All accredited museums are obliged to work according to the Museum Act and the ICOM Code of Ethics. All accredited museums have the duty to acquire, preserve and promote, and communicate their collections, and safeguard the natural, cultural, and scientific heritage they preserve. The museums promote human well-being, social development, tolerance, and respect by advocating multicultural and multilingual expression in the promotion of collections of both tangible and intangible heritage. The museums create a favourable environment for connections between the community and the museums to create a harmonious relationship between both parts.

Accredited museums

Accredited museums report annually to the Museum Council, which continually monitors that these accredited museums operate according to the Museum Act. Every accredited museum submits its strategy and statue/constitution to the Museum Council for evaluation and confirmation.

Information on the general situation of accredited museums in Iceland is published in the Museum Council's Annual Report on www.safnarad.is. Unfortunately, this information is only available in Icelandic.

According to the Museum Act, the Museum Council assesses applications for the Museum Fund and prepares proposals for the Minister of Education, Science and Culture, who allocates from the fund. Accredited museums can apply for operational grants with certain restrictions. Both museums and other entities (such as NGO's, researchers, etc.) can apply for project grants in accordance with the Fund's allocation rules.

The Museum Council

The Museum Council consists of five members, two of whom are appointed by the Minister of Education, Science and Culture; the Chairman and the Vice Chairman. The Icelandic Association of Local Authorities, the Association of Icelandic Museums and museum professionals, and ICOM – Iceland appoint one member each.

Council Members, 2017 - 2020

Dr Ólafur Kvaran, Chairman

Anna Sigríður Kristjánsdóttir, Vice Chairman

Helga Lára Þorsteinsdóttir, ICOM – Iceland

Haraldur Þór Egilsson, The Association of Icelandic Museums and Museum Professionals

Sigríður Björk Jónsdóttir, Icelandic Association of Local Authorities

The Council meets monthly, except for July. The Museum Council's office is situated in the National Museum of Iceland, Lækjargata 3, 101 Reykjavik, Iceland. 

Managing Director

The Managing Director of the Council is Þóra Björk Ólafsdóttir, Bsc, MA. Inquiries can be sent to safnarad@safnarad.is