One of the things you want to do when you are in Paris is to schedule a visit to Louvre Museum, to have a glimpse of “Mona Lisa” probably the world’s most famous painting. Make an impact in the domain you have chosen to pursue and dream of your replica would find a place in Madame Tussauds wax museum in London. Recall the times when you visit a museum, as soon as you enter you get disconnected with the present and time machine rolling back and going through the era the world has gone through. It is like listening to your favourite music and mind leaving the present and going back in time try to relive the past. The museum is a sea of nostalgia where every man has the desire to cross it and go back to that time.
The ancient heritage of a country, its civilization and art not only matters of that country but to the entire world because it gives the experience of an ancient era. It is a huge responsibility to protect and take care of them all. Museums have been taking care of precious items such as ancient and historical artefacts, artistic works and culturally related objects. Museums are not just buildings but a place where people want to be a part of experiencing the shared culture. There are many types of museums such as art museums, natural history museums, science museums, war museums, children’s museums and so on.
The celebration of the International Museum Day was started in 1977 by the International Council of Museums. The objective was to raise awareness about the fact that, “Museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples.” Museums have no borders, but they have a network that connects the world, more and more museums participate in International Museum Day, with more than 37,000 museums from about 158 countries participating in the last year event.
But during the journey that museums have gone through, this Latin word Museum have known by many meanings, in classic times it was known after the temple which was dedicated to Muses. The highly fortified museum of that time, which was discovered in Alexandria about the 3rd century BC and was demolished by the coming of the 3rd century AD due to various conflicts.
According to French philosopher Michel Serres, humanity has experienced three types of great revolutions; a transition from oral culture to manuscript culture, from manuscript culture to print culture and now transition from print culture to the digital age. Today’s technological era has changed the way we work, with most of the work being done through the digital medium. The advancements are also impacting the environment and the infrastructure of the museum and changing the relationship between people and knowledge. ‘AnnoTate’, the Archives & Access Project recently developed by the Tate Museum in the UK to transcribe the museum’s archives could be one of the examples of rapidly changing trends.
“A life accumulates a collection: of people, work and perplexities. We are all our own curators.” Says Richard Fortey. He believes profoundly in the importance of museums, and he goes as far as to say that you can judge a society by the quality of its museums.”
While the world is developing and trying to solve the problems of hunger, poverty and providing health care, it has also seen, growing disparities, armed conflicts, extremism. Threatening the very existence of the societies and dwarfing the advancements being made led by the advancements in science and technology. It is appropriate that this year International Museum Day is being celebrated with the theme “Museums for Equality: Diversity and Inclusion”. It aims at becoming a rallying point to both celebrate the diversity of perspectives that make up the communities and personnel of museums, and champion tools for identifying and overcoming bias in what they display and the stories they tell.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdowns, the museums around the globe will do various activities online. The world is celebrating the international museum day by going digital. You can connect the events through an interactive map on WeMap.
When the world is struggling to come out of the health crisis, let us not forget what the world is made up of, we can afford to think about celebrations like that.
Stay Safe and more importantly continue to Be Happy!
Toons by Reema Jaiswal
Logs by Kartikay Shukla and Sai Baba