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International Museum Day 2024: Theme, History, and Quotes

International Museum Day 2024

Museums are places where we can view a wide range of artistic, cultural, historical, traditional, and historically interesting items. It is an excellent knowledge resource. It not only imparts knowledge but also familiarises people with our nation’s art, architecture, culture, history, and civilization. Many items at the museum are reserved for public viewing. All these objects provide us with information on the lifestyle, tools, and creations of the ancient people. Consequently, museums are frequently referred to as historical repositories.

Museums are vibrant centres of learning that encourage inquiry, innovation, and critical thinking. On International Museum Day 2024, we will celebrate their commitment to science by offering a forum for investigation and the sharing of novel concepts. Museums are essential places where education and research come together to form our understanding of the world, from art and history to science and technology.

Since 2020, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals have been supported by the International Museum Day. Read this blog post to learn about goals for this year and those established since 2020.

International Museum Day: History

Before we focus on this year’s themes, let’s have a look at Museum Day’s history.

International Museum Day was established in 1977 by the International Council of Museums (ICOM). Every year, the organisation selects and organises a new topic for the day. Globalisation, indigenous peoples, overcoming cultural divides, and environmental preservation are a few of the themes.

Since 1977, all museums worldwide have been asked to take part in this annual event, which raises awareness of the value of museums worldwide by planning fun, free events centred around the theme of the year.

In 2009, 20,000 museums in more than 90 countries participated in the event. The number of participating museums increased to 30,000 across 129 countries in 2012. Since its founding, International Museum Day has grown in popularity. 

Timeline of International Museum Day


ICOM convened the international museum community for a 1951 conference known as Crusade for Museums to address the topic of “Museums and Education” prior to formally establishing International Museum Day. 


At the ICOM General Assembly in Moscow, Russia, a resolution was adopted to create an annual event “with the aim of further unifying the creative aspirations and efforts of museums and drawing the attention of the world public to their activity,” officially establishing International Museum Day in 1977.

Formation of Theme: 

ICOM proposed a theme for the first time in 1992 since the event drew a rising number of museums and supported diversity in unity: Environment and Museums

Widening Communication:

An important turning point for the event was the introduction of institutional partners, a website, and a communications kit for International Museum Day in 2011.

International Museum Day 2024: Theme

Since 1977, International Museum Day has been held annually by ICOM, marking a special occasion for the global museum community.

Raising awareness of the idea that “Museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples” is the main goal of International Museum Day (IMD). Every year on May 18th, or around that date, International Museum Day is celebrated with a range of events and activities that might take place over one day, a weekend, or a full week. Forty years ago was the first time IMD was celebrated. An increasing number of museums worldwide take part in International Museum Day. Around 158 countries and territories sent over 37,000 museums to take part in the event the previous year.

The theme for the International Museum Day 2024 is “Museums for Education and Research”

International Museum Day 2024: Significance

The International Museum Day adheres to a set of goals from the sustainable development goals of the United Nations. 

In 2024, the spotlight will be on the following goals:

  • Goal 4: Quality Education – Guarantee inclusive and equitable high-quality education and encourage possibilities for lifelong learning for everyone
  • Goal 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure: Encourage inclusive and sustainable industry, develop innovative ideas, and construct robust infrastructure.

Apart from these goals, the museum day has an array of significance. Let’s have a look at the importance of the International Museum Day 2024: 

1. Museums Inspire and Teach

We honour the ways that museums inspire and educate us on this day. Museums gather artefacts, antiques, and exotic creatures that teach us about many cultures. One of UNESCO’s most significant partners in fostering mental harmony among men and women is museums. The day also serves as a reminder to preserve natural objects and artefacts for future generations and to acknowledge their importance to knowledge and education.

2. Preserving Our Culture

Museums serve as large safes for our cultural heritage. They preserve it and make it available to everyone so that we may all appreciate and comprehend various lifestyles. These days, museums focus on everything from natural heritage to human inventiveness and cultural expression. In addition to helping local economies grow, museums may be significant venues for cross-cultural communication and mediation. We have the opportunity to acknowledge the critical role that museums play in helping people appreciate the value of cross-cultural cooperation and exchanges.

3. Museums and Time Travel

Museums resemble time capsules. Museums are crucial in democratising access to historical culture by utilising new technology.  They narrate tales of historical events, such as the founding of nations or the struggles of individuals seeking liberation. Museums are much more enjoyable than history books!

4. Promotes Unity

Museums are essential in uniting the world’s nations around a common theme for celebration. Every year, a large number of nations come together to commemorate the topic. On Museum Day in 2009, about 20,000 museums from 90 different countries participated in the festivities. In 2012, a record 30,000 museums across 129 nations participated in World Museum Day.

International Museum Day: Quotes

Let’s have a glance at some of the International Museum Day quotes: 

  • “A visit to a museum is a search for beauty, truth, and meaning in our lives. Go to museums as often as you can.” –  Maira Kalman
  • “The best introduction to art is to stroll through a museum. The more art you see, the more you’ll learn to define your own taste.”Jeanne Frank
  • “It’s not a museum. It’s not a place of artefacts; it’s a place of ideas.”Jeanie Kahnke
  • “Real museums are places where Time is transformed into Space.” Orhan Pamuk
  • “Museums should be places where you raise questions, not just show stuff.”William Thorsell

To help make International Museum Day a success, establish collaborations with educational institutions, associations, libraries, other museums, etc. to publicise your event. 

Spread the word to local, regional, and federal authorities about your initiatives and the reasons they are important to the public at large to promote the role that museums play in our society.

Through school and college events, your social media accounts, and the local news, spread the word about International Museum Day. 

Checkout: List of Special Days in May 2024


Q1. What is the International Museum Day theme?

The theme of International Museum Day 2024, is “Museums for Education and Research.” Today promotes a world that is more inclusive, ecological, and conscientious.

Q2. On what day is International Museum Day observed?

Every year on May 18, we commemorate International Museum Day. The International Council of Museums declared it in 1977, and since then, celebrating it annually has been customary.

Q3. When is International Museum Day celebrated?

International Museum Day is celebrated on May 18. This day has been set aside by the International Council of Museums to honour museums since 1977.

Q4. What are the goals set up for the celebration of International Museum Day 2024?

The following goals are set up to celebrate International Museum Day 2024: 

Goal 4: Quality Education
Goal 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure

Q5. How can we celebrate International Museum Day?

Observing International Museum Day is a great opportunity to interact with your local museums and recognise their cultural importance. Here are some ideas for commemorating this unique day:

-> Visit a Museum 
-> Organise or attend the celebratory events
-> Spread the Word on the day’s significance
-> Engage in learning activities

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