International Museum Day
Each year since 1977, ICOM has organised International Museum Day, which represents a unique moment for the international museum community.
The objective of International Museum Day (IMD) is to raise awareness about the fact that, “Museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples.” Organised on 18 May each year or around this date, the events and activities planned to celebrate International Museum Day can last a day, a weekend or an entire week. IMD was celebrated for the first time 40 years ago. All around the world, more and more museums participate in International Museum Day. Last year, more than 37,000 museums participated in the event in about 158 countries and territories.
International Museum Day 2023 “Museums, Sustainability and Wellbeing”
Museums are key contributors to the wellbeing and to the sustainable development of our communities. As trusted institutions and important threads in our shared social fabric, they are uniquely placed to create a cascading effect to foster positive change. There are many ways in which museums can contribute to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals: from supporting climate action and fostering inclusivity, to tackling social isolation and improving mental health.
As highlighted in the ICOM Resolution “On sustainability and the implementation of Agenda 2030, Transforming our World” (Kyoto, 2019), all museums have a role to play in shaping and creating sustainable futures, and they can do this through educational programmes, exhibitions, community outreach and research.
Each year since 2020, the International Museum Day supports a set of Goals from the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. In 2023, we will focus on:
- Goal 3 Global Health and Wellbeing: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages, in particular concerning mental health and social isolation.
- Goal 13 Climate Action: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts, adopting low-carbon practices in the Global North and mitigation strategies in the Global South.
- Goal 15 Life on Land: Protect, restore, and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, amplifying the voices of indigenous leaders and raising awareness on the loss of biodiversity.
On May 18th, we encourage all members of the civil society to come together and realise the full transformative potential that museums have for sustainable development and wellbeing!
The dedicated website for International Museum Day provides you with all the information, tools and material needed to get involved in the 2023 edition.