International Museum Day 2019: Theme, History and Importance

Every year on 18 May International Museum Day is observed to raise awareness among people about the museums as an important means of cultural exchange and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among people. International Council of Museums (ICOM) organise an event annually on this day. What is the history behind Inrternational Museum Day celebration, theme of 2019 and how it is celebrated.
Created On: May 18, 2019 10:38 IST
Modified On: May 18, 2019 10:57 IST
International Museum Day 2019: Theme, History and Significance
International Museum Day 2019: Theme, History and Significance

On International Museum Day which is celebrated on 18 May, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) across the country allow free entry to the general public in the museums. Around 46 museums are managed by ASI out of them some are Archaeological Museum in Purana Qila, Swatantrata Sangram Sanghralaya, Swatantrata Senani Museum, Indian War Memorial Museum in Red Fort in Delhi etc. In fact Pahari paintings will also be displayed at Metropolitan Museum of Art. There will be a week long event to mark International Museum Day in 13 cities.

This day also focuses on how important museums are in the development of the society. Every year International Council of Museums (ICOM) Advisory Committee organises the theme of this event and celebrated accordingly by various countries. Let us tell you that this event may last a day, a weekend, a week or even a month. International Museum Day has gained popularity from America to Oceania including Africa, Europe and Asia all around the world.

It is rightly said that "Museums have no political power, but they do have the possibility of influencing the political process. This is a complete change from their role in the early days of collecting and hoarding the world to one of using the collections as an archive for a changing world. This role is not merely scientifically important, but it is also a cultural necessity." - Richard Fortey

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International Museum Day 2019: Theme

The theme of International Museum Day 2019 is “Museums as Cultural Hubs: The future of tradition”.

The theme of International Museum Day 2018 is “Hyperconnected museum: New approaches, new publics”.

The theme of International Museum Day 2017 is “Museums and Contested Histories: Saying the unspeakable in museums “.

The theme of International Museum Day 2016 is “Museums and Cultural Landscapes”.

The theme of International Museum Day 2015 is “Museums for a Sustainable Society”.

International Museum Day: History

In 1977, the International Museum Day was created by the International Council of Museums. Every year this organisation chooses a separate theme and coordinated every year. Some of the themes focus on the globalisation, indigenous peoples, bridging cultural gaps, caring for the environment etc. On this day, since 1977, every year all the museums of the world are invited to participate and promote the role of museums in the world by organising several activities which are focussed on the theme. Do you know that in 2009, International Museum Day attracted the participation of 20,000 museums hosting events in more than 90 countries? In 2010, 98 countries participated, 100 countries in 2011 participated and in 2012 around 30,000 museums from 129 countries participated.

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International Museum Day: Celebrations

Several organisations organise free trip to visit museum on this day and it can be related to farming, fashion, space and astronomy, archaeology, art and culture, history etc. Even people with their relatives, friends, and family also visit nearby museums to celebrate this day. Also, people visit museum on week days due to increasing crowd on this day.

About International Council of Museum (ICOM)

It is the main organisation of museum professionals with a global scope which is committed to promote and protect the natural and cultural heritage. Its commitment towards the promotion of culture and knowledge is reinforced by its 31 International Committees which is dedicated to a wide range of museum specialities, have vast knowledge and done advanced research in their respective fields for the benefit of the museum community. Not only this, it also fight against illicit trafficking, assisting museums in emergency situations etc.

Therefore, it will not be wrong to say that Museum plays an important role preserving and promoting our cultural heritage. Museum collects and preserves our objects and materials of religious, cultural and historical value. No doubt, it is a storehouse of old artefacts, sculptures, objects, history etc.

According to ICOM "As institutions at the heart of society, museums have the power to establish dialogue between cultures, to build bridges for a peaceful world and to define a sustainable future."

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