Museums worldwide mark May 18, International Museum Day

Under this year’s motto of ‘Museums for Equality: Diversity and Inclusion,’ the global and local museum community is celebrating 2020 International Museum Day.

According to International Council of Museums (ICOM) president Suay Aksoy in her message on the occasion of 2020 International Museum Day, this year’s “celebration is being marked in the most exceptional circumstances […] It seems like a strange time to celebrate, as thousands of museums remain closed and the uncertainty of what will happen in the coming months overwhelms our thoughts. Yet it is precisely now that we need to spread the message of the International Museum Day.”

Created to promote museums as an essential means for the development of mutual understanding, cooperation, and peace among peoples, International Museum Day has been celebrated since 1977, Aksoy notes, adding that “this day is not only about museums: it is a celebration of every single person who makes them the places of wonder that they are.”

“It is about wide-eyed schoolchildren,” she says, “passionate curators, art enthusiasts, dedicated security people, occasional visitors. It is about our natural heritage and its outstanding biodiversity. It is about our common memory and the diversity that unites us in our differences.”

“Each one of us has an important role to play in reimagining and building a future based on equality, diversity and inclusion,” Aksoy writes.

In a press release, ICOM North Macedonia National Committee president Maja Chankulovska-Mihajlovska joins in the International Museum Day greetings by highlighting the “basic role of museums as generators of connection between people” through arts and culture.

Chankulovska-Mihajlovska writes that “instead of ‘paused,’ museums’ activities have become digitally proactive,” and museum workers have turned to “inventive ways to hold public interest in a period of closures of exhibitions and collections.”

The new reality, she says, “has become a familiarizing/breeding ground for various points of view toward the digital functioning of creative platforms for interactive communication.”

While closed due to the coronacrisis, “museums remain responsible for safeguarding cultural heritage and culture through respecting all recommended steps for the protection of the public health and safety,” Chankulovska-Mihajlovska adds, urging museums to be even more active online in 2020.