International Museum Day [18th May, 2023]

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Nov 10, 2022, 15:56

International Museum Day (IMD) is celebrated on 18th May annually to enhance public awareness about museums as critical venues for cultural exchange and promote mutual understanding, collaboration, and peace. IMD is a global commemoration organised by the International Council of Museums (ICOM). International Museum Day is also a day for professionals working in museums to meet.

Museums have played an essential role in preserving ancient artefacts and being a place of learning. International Museum Day encourages people to visit museums more often. Know more about the history and significance of this day here.

International Museum Day 2023

International Museum Day was first celebrated in 1977 after the International Council of Museums (ICOM) established the day. The original purpose of this day was to draw public attention to global museums and the work that they do. As of now, 35,000 museums from 140 countries take part in International Museum Day.

World Museum Day is an opportunity for all to visit their local museums and gain knowledge. Here is a brief overview of the day:


International Museum Day

Established By

International Council of Museums (ICOM)

Celebrated On

18th May


To spread awareness about the role of museums and to encourage people to visit museums often.

International Museum Day 2023 Theme

Each year, a new and unique theme is chosen for International Museum Day celebrations. The theme for the year is generally based on a relevant issue or problem concerning museums. The International Museum Day theme 2023 has not been shared yet. Check out the previous year's themes from 2010-2022 below:

  • 2022 – The Power of Museums
  • 2021 – The Future of Museums: Recover and Reimagine
  • 2020 – Museum for Equality: Diversity and Inclusion
  • 2019 – Museums as Cultural Hubs: The Future of Tradition
  • 2018 – Hyperconnected museum: New approaches, new publics
  • 2017 – Museums and Contested Histories: Saying the unspeakable in museums
  • 2016 – Museums and Cultural Landscapes
  • 2015 – Museums for a Sustainable Society
  • 2014 – Museum collections make connections
  • 2013 – Museums (memory + creativity = social change)
  • 2012 – Museums in a changing world. New challenges, new inspirations
  • 2011 – Museum and memory: Objects tell your story
  • 2010 – Museums for social harmony

History of Museum Day

Every year since 1977, ICOM has celebrated International Museum Day. The day is also a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the international museum community. International Museum Day was created in 1977 by the International Council of Museums to promote the role of museums in society.

Each year, this organisation chooses and coordinates a different subject. Globalisation, indigenous peoples, cultural differences, environmental conservation, and other issues are discussed. Since 1977, all of the world's museums have been urged to participate and propagate the importance of museums.

International Museum Day, which took place in 2009, brought 20,000 museums from over 90 countries to participate in festivities. In 2010, 98 countries participated, followed by 100 countries in 2011, and approximately 30,000 museums from 129 countries in 2012. Currently, over 35,000 global museums take part in Museum Day annually.

Significance of World Museum Day

The programme of International Museum Day always focuses on a different issue each year that is at the heart of the international museum community's concerns. This day provides an opportunity for museum professionals to gather and inform the public about museums' difficulties. On this day, the importance of museums in the evolution of society is recognised.

The International Council of Museums (ICOM Advisory) 's Committee organises the event's subject each year, commemorated by various countries. It could last just one day, a weekend, a week, or even a month. International Museum Day has become increasingly popular from America to Oceania, spanning Africa, Europe, and Asia. International Museum Day is important because it highlights the role of museums in society.

How is International Museum Day Celebrated?

International Museum Day is a big occasion that is celebrated with much enthusiasm around the world. Here is how this day is observed:

  • Several organisations offer free museum visits on farming, fashion, space and astronomy, archaeology, art and culture, history, etc.
  • People celebrate the day by visiting nearby museums with their relatives, friends, and family.
  • People share information about their local museums with others.
  • Global leaders come forwards to speak about the importance of museums.

Museums in India

International Museums Day aims to bring cultures together and highlighting the history of our country. It's time to give the museums the value they deserve. On the occasion of International Museum Day, here are some important museums in India that you can visit:

  • New Delhi's National Museum (Subordinate Office under the Ministry of Culture)
  • New Delhi's National Gallery of Modern Art
  • Salar Jung Museum
  • Hyderabad Indian Museum
  • Kolkata Archaeological Survey of India Site Museum
  • Goa National Museum of Natural History (NMNH)
  • New Delhi National Museum of Natural History (NMNH)

Important Current Affairs Topics

Bank Holidays in DecemberBank Holidays in India
Bank Holidays in NovemberInternational Astronomy Day
World Vegan DayInternational Civil Aviation Day
International Customs DayInternational Dance Day
World Water DayWorld Wetland Day

FAQs on International Museum Day

Q1. When is International Museum Day celebrated?

International Museum Day is celebrated on the 18th May every year. This day was established by the ICOM - International Council of Museums, to attract public attention towards the role and importance of museums in society.

Q2. What was the theme of International Museum Day 2022?

The International Museum Day 2022 theme was "The Power of Museums." This simple theme brings light to the value of museums as being spaces to learn and grow. On International Museum Day, a different theme is chosen for the celebration each year.

Q3. Why is International Museum Day celebrated?

Museums play a huge part in preserving artefacts and providing us with knowledge about history. International Museum Day is celebrated to attract attention to these places of learning. Museum Day is celebrated annually on 18th May.

Q4. Who is the founder of International Museum Day?

The founder of International Museum Day is the International Council of Museums (ICOM), which officiated the day in 1977. Since then, International Museum Day has been celebrated by 140 countries on 18th May.