International Museum Day 2020 goes digital! Theme, significance and virtual initiatives explained

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Updated: May 18, 2020 5:49 PM

International Museum Day in 2020 goes digital! The Union Ministry of Culture is rolling out several social updates and virtual initiatives to mark this special day.

This year’s International Museum day is being celebrated differently by going on a digital platform.

International Museum Day in 2020 goes digital! The Union Ministry of Culture is rolling out several social updates and virtual initiatives to mark this special day. Unlike other years, this year’s International Museum day is being celebrated differently by going on a digital platform. As the Coronavirus outbreak has affected all public activities across countries, the International Council of Museums (ICOM) said that it has decided to adapt to a format that will help people engage in digital activities, therefore ensuring their safety. First, let’s understand why International Museum Day is special and observed as such across the world.

When and why International Museum Day 2020 is signficant

According to ICOM, it has established International Museum Day back in 1977 so that the council could help increase public awareness for the role museums play in developing a society, which has become a tradition now and is celebrated every year on May 18 since then. ICOM claimed that last year, the day had witnessed a record-breaking participation as more than 55,000 museums held many events across 150 countries. It sets a theme every year and other museums have to arrange events in line with this theme.

What is happening this year

This year, the theme set up by the ICOM is Museums for Equality: Diversity and Inclusion. The aim is to celebrate the diversity of perspectives which contributes in making up the communities and some champion tools that identify and overcome bias in the stories they tell or what they display. Therefore, a majority events organised via digital platforms will be based on this theme.

Events around the world and India

As virtual experience takes over, a museum in Los Angeles has started a unique way of engaging people with art. Through a social media challenge, the museum has asked people to recreate any artwork that they like in the museum by using only three items lying around. This immediately created a sense of fun among people as it went viral. Many participants recreated their favourite piece of art.

In China, according to a report by Xinhua, the National Cultural Heritage Administration (NCHA) showcased an online exhibition of China’s museums. NCHA also arranges more than 90 events, as per the theme set by ICOM, where it tends to drive audiences to check collections online.

In India, the International Museum Day 2020 is celebrated online this year. The Ministry of Culture has been quite proactive on social media, sharing updates and videos highlighting the significance of International Musuem Day. There is also a project called Ghar Se Museum where Indian museums are brought online for the audience. This is organised by Art X Company, a strategic and research cultural consultancy, and Paytm Insider, the IE Indulge reported. It has a series of free as well as paid digital events in India which has also been collaborated with Museums of India.

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