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International Museum Day 2020: May 18

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International Museum DayInternational Museum Day (IMD) is celebrated every year on May 18 globally, to create awareness on the importance of museums for the development of society. The event highlights a specific theme which changes every year to reflect the basis of the international museum community’s preoccupations.

Theme for the year 2020: “Museums for Equality: Diversity and Inclusion”.

Key Points:

i.History of the day: The day is organized by the International Council of Museums (ICOM) and has been celebrated since 1977.

ii.The IMD provides the opportunity for museum professionals to meet the public and alert them as to the challenges that museums face.For those museums who wish to organise activities on site once the lockdowns are over, ICOM proposes an alternative date: a three-day celebration between November 14, coinciding with the Long Night of Museums, and ICOM’s 74th anniversary on November 16, 2020.

iii.According to ICOM, the museum is a non-profit, permanent institution in the service of society and its development, open to the public, which acquires, conserves, researches, communicates and exhibits the tangible and intangible heritage of humanity and its environment for the purposes of education, study and enjoyment.

iv.Each year, all museums in the world are invited to participate in IMD to promote the role of museums around the world, creating unique, enjoyable and free activities around a theme discussed within the ICOM community for this special day.

v.IMD has gained increasing attention. In 2009, International Museum Day attracted the participation of 20,000 museums hosting events in more than 90 countries. In 2011, the official IMD poster was translated into 37 languages. In 2019, more than 55,000 museums participated in the event from 150 countries.

vi.ICOM: The International Council of Museums (ICOM) was created in 1946, is a non-governmental organisation maintaining formal relations with UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural  Organization) and having a consultative status with the United Nations (UN) Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

vii.ICOM also partners with entities such as the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), INTERPOL (International Criminal Police Organization), and the World Customs Organization (WCO) in order to carry out its international public service missions, which include fighting illicit traffic in cultural goods, promoting risk management and emergency preparedness to protect world cultural heritage in the event of natural or man-made disasters.

About ICOM:
Headquarters– Paris, France.
President– Suay Aksoy.