When: 18 May, 2017
What: International Museum Day
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The worldwide community of museums is celebrating International Museum Day today i.e, 18 May 2017. The theme chosen for 2017 is “Museums and contested histories: Saying the unspeakable in museums”. The objective of International Museum Day is to raise awareness of the fact that, “Museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples.”
Participation in International Museum Day is growing among museums all over the world. In 2016, more than 35,000 museums participated in the event in some 145 countries. The International Council of Museums (ICOM) has recently announced that the central topic of International Museum Day 2017 will be “Museums and contested histories: Saying the unspeakable in museums”. This theme focuses on the role of museums that, by working to benefit society, become hubs for promoting peaceful relationships between people. It also highlights how the acceptance of a contested history is the first step in envisioning a shared future under the banner of reconciliation.
According to ICOM, by choosing to say the unspeakable in museums, the theme of the International Museum Day 2017 looks at how to understand the incomprehensible aspects of the contested histories inherent to the human race. It also encourages museums to play an active role in peacefully addressing traumatic histories through mediation and multiple points of view.
Every year since 1977, ICOM has organised International Museum Day, which represents a unique moment for the international museum community. On this day, participating museums plan creative events and activities related to the International Museum Day theme, engage with their public and highlight the importance of the role of museums as institutions that serve society and its development. The objective of International Museum Day is to raise awareness of the fact that, “Museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples.” Organised on and around 18 May each year, the events and activities planned to celebrate International Museum Day can last a day, a weekend or a whole week. ICOM is inviting cultural institutions of all types around the world to join in this celebration, which will focus on the link allowing for a vision of the future above and beyond taboo subjects and towards a better understanding of one another.