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International Museum Day, what it is and why it is celebrated


The ‘International Museum Day’ is celebrated all over the world on 18 May, dedicated this year to the theme ‘The future of museums: regenerating and reinventing oneself’, a particularly topical topic given the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on everything the cultural sector. ORIGINS International Museum Day was established in 1977 in Moscow during the General Assembly of the International Council of Museums (ICOM), the leading international non-governmental organization representing museums and their professionals. The museums participating in the initiative plan innovative events and activities related to the chosen theme and involve their public, highlighting the importance of the role of museums as institutions at the service of society and its development. The events and activities planned to celebrate this anniversary can last a day, a weekend or a whole week.The goal is to be aware of the fact that museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace between peoples. THIS YEAR’S THEME In 2020, the Covid-19 crisis shocked the whole world in an unexpected way, affecting every aspect of our life: from relationships with the people we love, to how we perceive our homes and cities, our work and our organization. Some pre-existing problems have worsened further, questioning the very structure of our societies: the call for equality is now stronger than ever. Museums have not been able to escape these changes, and the cultural sector has been among the most affected, resulting in short and long-term economic, social and psychological repercussions. But this crisis has also served as a catalyst to promote fundamental innovations already underway, in particular the greater attention to digitization and the creation of new forms of experiences and cultural dissemination. It is a crucial moment for our society. of ICOM, which asks museums to be actors of change: “It is time to rethink our relationship with the communities we serve, experiment with models of cultural experience and strongly reaffirm the essential value of museums in building of a fair and sustainable future. We must defend the creative potential of culture as an engine for the relaunch and innovation of the post-Covid era “. With the theme ‘The future of museums: regenerating and reinventing oneself’, International Museum Day 2021 (IMD 2021) invites museums, professionals in the sector and their communities to develop, imagine and share new practices of (co) creation of values, new models and commercial for cultural institutions and innovative solutions for the social, economic and environmental challenges of the present.



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