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Discovering Museums with Pleasure

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 (#IMD2020). On this day, you are invited to discover our rich museum landscape. On the IMD2020 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. In 2019, more than 55,000 museums in over 150 countries participated in the event.

Museums for Equality: Diversity and Inclusion

This was the original motto of the International Museum Day in 2020. However, due to the current health situation, the motto has been changed: Instead, the “International Museum Day digital” will take place. The worldwide health crisis will be a particular challenge this year. The International Museum Day in Europe will therefore also 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.

International Museum Day 2020 goes digital

Despite the current widespread pandemic situation, #IMD2020 will be celebrated by organizing digital and online activities. For those who wish to organize on-site activities, many museums propose 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.

In Germany, the International Museum Day 2020 will be celebrated on 17 May. The Deutscher Museumsbund in partnership with ICOM Germany and the museum associations and museum offices of the Länder are the organizers of the IMD2020 in Germany.

A very special day for museums

Not all museums in Europe have opened again for a long time. But the Corona crisis is also causing the cultural sector to become 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.
Some exciting offers from Europe’s museums are shown here:

In the corridors of Versailles

One of the most popular destinations in France for many tourists is the capital city of Paris. The Louvre, based there, offers virtual tours of the exhibition rooms and galleries on the website, as well as one-minute cartoons of a selected work of art for younger visitors. A special highlight is the virtual reality experience “Mona Lisa Beyond The Glass”, which offers a 360° view and exciting background information on Leonardo da Vinci’s painting. You can also experience the Palace of Versailles from the comfort of your own home: A virtual reality game presents two historical events and a look back into the time of the French kings Louis XIV and Louis XV.

Virtual tours in the museums of Italy

Culture is not neglected in Italy either: the Vatican Museum in Rome has made eleven virtual tours available on its website. For example, visitors can take a look inside the Sistine Chapel or visit the Profane Museum.
A major exhibition at the Scuderie del Quirinale Museum in Rome in honour of the 500th anniversary of the death of the painter Raphael had to be postponed due to the closure of the museums. As a replacement, however, there is now a virtual 13-minute guided tour of Raphael’s life and works of art on the website of the Italian museum.

Van Gogh’s works as close as never beforeEnjoy the Museum 2020

Amsterdam is one of Europe’s most visited cities and the Van Gogh Museum is one of the most visited tourist attractions. The history of the Dutch painter, marked by tragedy and genius, attracts millions of visitors every year to the museum, who admire the more than 200 paintings, 500 drawings and more than 750 letters. The Google Arts & Culture Tool now offers access to the entire museum: Visitors can take a look inside the virtual exhibitions as well as view the works of art up close.

Learn more about the values we share in Europe on sikhna.eu.

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