International Museum Day takes place annually around May 18 and serves as a platform to raise public awareness on the important role museums play in the development of society at an international level. Museums are non-profit, permanent institution in the service of society which are open to the public, and acquire, conserve, research, communicate and exhibit the tangible and intangible heritage of humanity and its environment for the purposes of education, study and enjoyment. The International Council of Museums created International Museum Day 18 May 1977 to raise public awareness of the important role museums play in in educating the public and conserving and exhibiting items which have played an important role in the development, education and improvement of societies worldwide.
International Museum Day is coordinated by the International Council of Museums (ICOM) and it provides the opportunity for museum professionals to meet the public and alert them as to the challenges that museums face. The ICOM, (The International Council of Museum) are the main organisation of museums and museum professionals and have a global scope, and are committed to the promotion and protection of natural and cultural heritage, present and future, tangible and intangible.
The event is coordinated by the ICOM and highlights a different theme each year which is of importance to the international museum community, and museums around the world are invited to participate in IMD to promote the role of museums, creating unique, enjoyable and free activities around a different theme each year Which is chosen by the ICOM. Since its creation in 1977, International Museum Day has gained increasing attention. In 2009, International Museum Day attracted the participation of 20,000 museums hosting events in more than 90 countries. In 2010, 98 countries participated in the celebration, with 100 in 2011, and 30,000 museums in 129 countries in 2012. By 2012, the official IMD poster had been translated into twelve different languages.
ICOM’s commitment to culture and knowledge promotion is reinforced by its 31 International Committees dedicated to a wide range of museum specialities, who conduct advanced research in their respective fields for the benefit of the museum community. The organisation is also involved in fighting illicit trafficking, assisting museums in emergency situations, and more.