International Museum Day, celebrated annually on May 18, is an opportunity for the global museum community to highlight the role of these institutions in building and developing sustainable futures. This year’s International Museum Day is held under the theme “Museums, Sustainability, and Well-Being.”
In a communiqué released on this occasion, the International Council of Museums (ICOM) stressed that museums can contribute to educating the public about important global issues, such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and social inequality, and encouraging action towards positive change.
“Museums can contribute to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by supporting climate action to foster inclusivity, combating social isolation, and improving mental health,” stated ICOM in the communiqué.
The Council explained that museums can help through educational programs, exhibitions, outreach, and research, noting that museums are “trusted institutions and important threads in our shared social fabric, and they are uniquely placed to create a cascading effect to foster positive change.”
Museums are not only conservatories of works and places that host exchanges and promote cultural enrichment, but they are also a social and civil reference, as these institutions play an important role in promoting sustainable practices and educating the public about the importance of sustainability and well-being.
The International Council of Museums (ICOM) designated May 18 as International Museum Day (IMD) in 1977 to raise awareness of the important role of museums in cultural exchange and highlight their importance as institutions serving society and its development.
Since 2020, this annual celebration has particularly focused on three axes from the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), namely ensuring good health and well-being for all at all ages and taking urgent action to combat climate change and its devastating impacts.
International Museum Day (IMD) also aims to protect, restore and promote the sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, keeping in mind indigenous people and raising awareness about biodiversity loss.
This international day brings together museums from around the world, as over 37.000 museums from 156 countries celebrated this event in 2022.