WFFM is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that brings together and supports the Friends of Museums around the world, the people who understand the importance of joining efforts towards the conservation of humanity's cultural heritage. Its origin began in 1967 in Spain, with ideas that culminated in its foundation in 1975, in Belgium. Recognized by Unesco and a partner of the International Council of Museums (ICOM), it is present in 36 different countries, with 18 national federations and 27 associations, representing around two million people.

WFFM activities are focused on the following objectives:

• Unite the growing number of Friends of Museums in different countries to facilitate the exchange of ideas and experiences on the theme of conservation of cultural heritage.

• Promote the creation and development of national federations and Friends of Museums Associations around the world and support their initiatives to enrich museums.

• Encourage the application of the most stringent ethical standards among museum friends and volunteers in accordance with the precepts established by the WFFM Code of Ethics.

• Spread the idea and vision of the Museum Friends around the world.

• Encourage links between museum professionals and volunteers, young people and the general public.

• To officially represent the Friends of Museums in the context of cultural cooperation with similar international organizations, in particular with the International Council of Museums (ICOM) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco).

• Sensitize the public and governments worldwide for the cause of culture in general and the Friends of Museums in particular.

  1. 1967

    In Barcelona (Spain), the idea of a World Federation of Friends of Museums is conceived, thanks to Amics dels Museos and one of its members, Luis Monreal, curator of the Frederic Marès Museum, together with Count Boël of Belgium.

  2. 1972

    I Congresso Internacional de Amigos de Museus - Barcelona (Espanha) - 19 a 23 de junho
    A decisão de trabalhar nos estatutos de uma Federação Mundial e de criar federações nacionais. Seis delas são criadas entre 1972 e 1975.

  3. 1975

    II Congresso Internacional - Bruxelas (Bélgica) – 16 a 21 de junho

    Tema: “Contatos entre Museus e Associações"

    Fundação da Federação Mundial de Amigos de Museus e aprovação de seus estatutos. Idiomas oficiais: francês e inglês. Decisão de fazer a publicação de um boletim bienal da Federação.

    Presidente: David Mawson (Reino Unido)
    Tesoureiro: Jacqueline Boël (Bélgica)

  4. 1978

    III Congresso Internacional - Florença (Itália) – 6 a 11 de junho

    Tema: “Meio Ambiente, Patrimônio Cultural, Educação Permanente” 

    Presidente: David Mawson (Reino Unido) 
    Tesoureiro: Jacqueline Boël (Bélgica)

  5. 1979

    The general secretariat is transferred to Norwich (United Kingdom)

  6. 1981

    IV International Congress - Birmingham (United Kingdom) - 14th to 21st June

    Theme: "Friends and their Patrimony"

    President: Francis Huré (France)

  7. 1983

    Secretary General: Claudie de Guillebon (France)

  8. 1984

    V International Congress - Paris (France) - 2-6 July

    Theme: "Which Public? For which Museums? With which Friends? "

    President: Edmund Bovey (Canada)

  9. 1985

    Modification of by-laws to open WFFM to new membership categories

    Theme: "Metamorphosis: The Challenge of Change"

    Secretary-General: Claudie de Guillebon (France)
    First Youth Delegate from WFFM: Jérôme Tréca (France)

  10. 1986

    Quarterly review of the "Museum" publication edited by Unesco and printed in four languages begins to display a permanent WFFM column

    International Colloquium - Athens (Greece) - 23 to 26 November

    Theme: "The Institution and its Mission, Challenges and Opportunities"

    Organized by Friends of the Benaki Museum

  11. 1987

    VI International Congress - Toronto (Canada) - June 15-19

    Theme: "Metamorphosis: The Challenge of Change"

    President: Georges Spentsas (Greece)

  12. 1988

    President: Aristotele Phrydas (Greece)
    Treasurer: Claudie de Guillebon (France)

  13. 1990

    VII International Congress - Córdoba (Spain) - 2-6 April

    Theme: "The Museum: Cultural City"

    President: Anna Grandi Clerici (Italy)

  14. 1992

    President: Carla Bossi-Comelli (Mexico)

    Edition nº 176 of the publication "Museum" is dedicated entirely to the Friends of Museums.

  15. 1993

    VIII International Congress - Treviso (Italy) - June 1 to 4

    Theme: "The Renaissance of Community Participation in the Conservation and Promotion of Cultural Heritage"

    President: José Pintado Rivero (Mexico)
    Treasurer: Oscar Mairlot (Belgium)

  16. 1994

    International Seminar

    Theme: "The Role of Friends of Museums"

    Organized by the Federation of Museums Associations of Cyprus and WFFM in Nicosia (Cyprus)

    Statement of Spanish as the third official language of WFFM.

  17. 1995

    General Secretariat: Carla Bossi-Comelli (Mexico)

  18. 1996

    IX International Congress - Oaxaca (Mexico) - October 21 to 25

    Theme: "Museums of Tomorrow and their Friends"

  19. 1997

    President: Carol Serventy (Australia)
    Treasurer: Oscar Mairlot (Belgium)

  20. 1998

    General Secretariat: Carla Bossi-Comelli (Mexico)

  21. 1999

    X International Congress - Sydney (Australia) - September 13 to 17

    Theme: "New Century, New Museums: New Friends"

  22. 2000

    President: Carla Bossi-Comelli
    Secretary-General: Mercedes Villegas (Mexico)
    Treasurer: Jocelyn Shaw (Canada)

  23. 2002

    XI International Congress - Buenos Aires (Argentina) - October 7-11

    Subject: "Why Friends of Museums?"

    President: Carla Bossi-Comelli
    Secretary-General: Julia Oh (Singapore)
    Treasurer: Daniel Ben-Natan (Israel)

  24. 2003

    President: Carla Bossi-Comelli

  25. 2005

    XII International Congress - Seville (Spain) - October 18-22

    Theme: "Friends and Museums: Facing New Realities"

    Secretary-General: Lila de Chaves (Greece)
    Treasurer: Daniel Ben-Natan (Israel)
    Publication of WFFM's 30th Anniversary Book

  26. 2006

    President: Carla Bossi-Comelli

    Modification of the statutes according to the new Belgian legislation.

  27. 2008

    XIII International Congress - Jerusalem (Israel) - 21 to 26 September

    Theme: "The Relations between Museums, Friends and Volunteers"

    President: Carla Bossi-Comelli
    Secretary-General: Lila de Chaves (Greece)
    Treasurer: Daniel Ben-Natan (Israel)

  28. 2009

    Council and General Assembly meeting - Glasgow (Scotland) - 30 April to 3 May

    Election of the new president, Daniel Ben-Natan

    Presence in 34 countries, with 17 national federations and 28 associations

  29. 2010

    General Assembly and Board Meeting - Lisbon (Portugal) - May 20-23

    President: Daniel Ben-Natan
    Treasurer: Murray Tarnapoli
    General Secretariat: Lila de Chaves

    21 participating members
    7 core members

  30. 2011

    XIV Intercational Congress - Genova (Italy) September 18 to 22

    President: Daniel Ben-Natan
    Treasurer: Murray Tarnapoli
    General Secretariat: Lila de Chaves

  31. 2012

    General Assembly and Board Meeting - São Paulo (Brazil) - April 12 to 15

    Election of president, treasurer and vice presidents continents.
    President: Daniel Ben-Natan
    Treasurer: Murray Tarnapoli
    Secretary General: Ana Luísa Delclaux

    27 participating members
    6 main members

  32. 2013

    General Assembly and Council Meeting - Seoul (Korea) April 22-25

    President: Daniel Ben-Natan
    Treasurer: Murray Tarnapoli
    Secretary General: Ana Luísa Delclaux

    27 participating members
    4 main members

  33. 2014

    International Congress - Berlin (Germany) - may 14 to 18

    President: Daniel Ben-Natan
    Treasurer: Murray Tarnapoli
    Secretary General: Ana Luísa Delclaux

    34 participating members
    6 main members

  34. 2015

    General Assembly and Meeting Council - Mexico City (Mexico) - June 11 to 14

    Election of president, treasurer and vice presidents of continents.
    President: Ekkehard Nümann
    Treasurer: Ronald Stride
    Secretary General: Cecilia García Huidobro