25 February 2024 12:20 AM

International Museum Day

Sunday، 21 May 2023 - 08:08 PM

What is International Museum Day

International Museum Day is a global event, held on 18 May each year in coordination with the International Council of Museums (ICOM), to raise public awareness of museums' leading role in community development. This day can last for a day, a weekend, or a whole week – depending on how long the museum wishes to celebrate.

The event highlights a specific theme that changes each year to reflect a relevant theme or issue facing museums internationally.

International Museum Day provides an opportunity for museum professionals to meet the public and alert them to the challenges faced by museums, and to raise public awareness of the role museums play in community development.

The day also encourages dialogue between museum professionals.

An advisory committee of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) determines a specific theme for the occasion.

When did International Museum Day begin?

International Museum Day began to be celebrated in 1977, after the adoption of this day at the meeting of the International Council of Museums in Moscow, and the eighteenth of May was chosen as International Museum Day.

What is the purpose of celebrating International Museum Day?

The aim of the International Museum Day is to raise awareness that "museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and the development of understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples". The celebration of this day on the eighteenth of May each year provides an opportunity for specialists to connect with the community associated with each museum. It also aims to further consolidate the aspirations and creative efforts of museums and to draw the attention of the global audience to their activity.

About the history of International Museum Day

In 1951 – before the creation of International Museum Day – the International Council of Museums (ICOM: International Council of Museums) brought together the international museum community to discuss the theme of "Museums and Education", and this gathering was called the "Museum Crusade", and the idea of "International Museum Day" was adopted from the discussion of museum development at this meeting.

In 1977, the resolution to establish International Museum Day was officially issued during the General Assembly of the International Council of Somalia in Moscow, Russia, with the aim of further uniting the aspirations and creative efforts of museums and drawing the attention of the world public to their activities.

 In 1992 the International Council of Museums (ICOM) proposed a theme related to this event with the aim of uniting the museum community in one theme, because the event attracted more and more museums, the first theme was entitled: "Museums and the Environment".

In 1997, a global identity was created where the Council launched the first official poster of the event on the theme of combating illicit trade in cultural goods. The poster was adapted by 28 countries.

2011 marks a turning point for this global event, with institutional partners, a website and a communication toolkit presented for International Museum Day.  ICOM was also a patron of European Museum Night for the first time that year, an event held on the Saturday closest to May 18 each year.

How is this day celebrated?

Events and activities planned for the celebration are organized and the celebrations can last a day, a weekend, or an entire week.

Participating museums organize some creative events and activities related to the theme of International Museum Day, interact with their audiences and highlight the importance of the role of museums as institutions that serve and develop society.

Related Stories

Most Visited

From To