Discovering museums with pleasure

The power of museums to transform the world auround us

Discovering Museums with Pleasure

Every year since 1977, the International Council of Museums (ICOM) has organized the International Museum Day (IMD), a unique occasion for the international museum community.

This council (ICOM), created in 1946, is the world organization of museums and museum professionals. ICOM is dedicated to the promotion and protection of natural and cultural heritage, present and future, tangible and intangible. With more than 37,000 members in 141 countries, ICOM’s network consists of professionals covering a wide range of disciplines related to museums and heritage.

Every year we celebrate the International Museum Day on and around 18 May (#IMD2022). On this day, you are invited to discover our rich museum landscape. On the IMD2022 interactive map , you can find digital events around the world.

Why an International Museum Day?

Museum Day was established in 1978 by the International Council of Museums (ICOM) to raise public awareness of the role museums play in the development of society. Since then, Museum Day, which takes place every year around 18 May, has drawn attention to the broad spectrum of museum work and the thematic diversity of museums around the world. The objective of International Museum Day is to raise awareness on the fact that, “museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples”. The museums throughout the world want to promote public awareness of respectful social interaction.

Numerous museums – from the local and regional museums to the large state institutions – present themselves on this day with special activities such as special tours, a look behind the scenes, workshops, museum festivals and long museum nights with free admission.

International Museum Day brings together more and more museums around the world. International Museum Day, celebrated for the 45rd time in 2022, consists of more than 35.000 museums participating from approximately 145 countries.

Enjoy the Museum 2020


Museums for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Each year, the International Music Day has a different topic of focus. This topic usually illuminates different aspects of museum work and the thematic diversity of the museum landscape, as well as addressing current issues. This year’s declared topic is: The Museum for All – Museums for Diversity and Inclusion. With this theme, the ICOM aims to promote respectful social interaction and open up different perspectives.

The International Museum Day in Europe this year will still have a strong digital dimension. Numerous museums offer a special programme with a diverse digital programme. In addition, many museums open their doors to visitors after weeks of closure.

Museums have the power to transform the world around us

As unique places of discovery, they can teach us about our past and open our minds to new ideas — two essential steps in building a better future. On International Museum Day 2022, which will take place on May 18th, we want to explore the potential of museums to bring about positive change in their communities through three lenses:

  • The power of achieving sustainability: Museums are strategic partners in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. As key actors in their local communities, they contribute to a wide variety of Goals, which include fostering short-circuit and social economy and disseminating scientific information on environmental challenges.
  • The power of innovating on digitalisation and accessibility: Museums have become innovative playing-grounds where new technologies can be developed and applied to everyday life. Digital innovation can make museums more accessible and engaging, helping audiences understand complex and nuanced concepts.
  • The power of community building through education: Through its collections and programmes, museums thread a social fabric that is essential in community building. By upholding democratic values and providing life-long learning opportunities to all, they contribute to shaping an informed and engaged civil society.

A very special day for museums

Not all museums in Europe have totally recoverd after a long period of isolation due to the Corona crisis. At the same time, this experience also caused the cultural sector to become more creative: On this year’s International Museum Day on 18 May, many museums are offering special deals on the Internet under the motto “The Museum for All: Museums for Diversity and Inclusion”. With virtually displayed collections, digital tours and interesting podcasts, visitors can now discover the diversity of the museum landscape online. In the social media, the actions were also shared under the #Museum Discovery.

#IMD2022 express confidence that the annual International Museum Day will help to increase the role played by the museum which uses the universal language of the original object in order to develop international understanding. The theme for the 2023 International Museum Day edition (May 18) is Museums, Sustainability and Wellbeing.

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