International Museum Day (IMD) is celebrated annually on 18 May, when various events and activities are organised by the International Council of Museums (ICOM).
The day recognises the contribution of museums in educating people about the history of humankind.
According to ICOM, the objective of the day is to raise awareness about museums being important means of cultural exchange. IMD is also celebrated to make people aware that museums represent the enrichment of cultures, development of mutual understanding and lastly, cooperation and peace among people.
International Museum Day: History
During the General Assembly of the council held in Russia in 1977, a resolution was adopted by ICOM, establishing the International Museum Day.
It is considered that the idea for IMD was first developed in 1951 at a meeting of the international museum community, organised by ICOM. This meeting was called Crusade for Museums, where the idea of 'Museum and Education' was discussed.
International Museum Day: Significance
As many as 37,000 museums participated to celebrate the IMD last year. These museums were in about 158 countries and territories.
It brings people together as 'access to all' is one of the most important aspects of IMD.
International Museum Day: Theme
The theme for IMD 2021 is 'The Future of Museums " Recover and Reimagine'. ICOM has invited museum professionals and the community to offer innovative business models in order to overcome the economic, social and environmental changes which they are facing at the moment.
As per ICOM, the COVID-19 crisis has affected the museum sector and while there will be long and short term impacts, it also serves as a catalyst to discover innovative solutions.
ICOM is advocating the potential of culture as a driver for recovery and innovation in the post-COVID era.