ICICH was formed by ICOMOS in late 2005. It was part of a growing recognition of intangible heritage by ICOMOS, the international professional association for cultural heritage places. In 1998 ICOMOS decided to hold one of its triennial conferences on this topic of intangible heritage values and place. This was ‘Place – Memory – Meaning: Preserving intangible heritage in memorials and sites’ held in 2003 in Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, where many ICOMOS members shared their experience of intangible value and place.
ICOMOS work in this area was timely with the broader focus by UNESCO on this area and the development of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage 2003.
Like all the International Scientific Committees of ICOMOS, ICICH is reliant on the volunteer efforts of passionate and skilled professionals. There have been several international gatherings of ICICH most held in conjunction with the General Assembly of ICOMOS that occurs every 4 years. Past international meetings include:
Quebec 2008, Business meeting of the committee held in conjunction with the ICOMOS general Assembly.
Dublin, Ireland, General meeting, 26th October 2010, in conjunction with ICOMOS ADCOMM . This meeting was jointly organised with ICOMOS Ireland, with the following speakers and activities:
- Dr Ned Kaufman on ‘Getting a grip on the intangibles: people, places, and stories’
- Emeritus Professor Dáithí Ó Hógáin on ‘Folklore as a personal and social resource’
- Gay McKeon, CEO Pipers Club, introduced and played the traditional Uileann Pipes
Paris, France, General meeting with seminar and business meeting, 2nd December 2012 ,in conjunction with the General Assembly of ICOMOS. This meeting was jointly organised with CRESSON at Paris-Malaquais Architecture School. The speakers at the seminar were:
- Nicolas Tixier (France – CRESSON) Paroles habitantes et projet urbain
- Steven Melemis (France – CRESSON – ENSAPM) Heritage/Experiment: The Arlequin Neighbourhood of Grenoble
- Laurier Turgeon (Canada) Patrimoine immatériel et nouvelles technologies (presented in his sudden absence for family reasons by Valéry Vachon-Bellevance)
- Urtnasan Norov (Mongolia) Safeguarding Nomadic Heritage Significance within Sustainable Development
- Susan McIntyre-Tamwoy (Australia) Intangible Heritage of Water in Indigenous Australia