The when, where and why of Museum Day


The origin of the commemoration of this day dates back to 28 May 1977, within the framework of the 12th General Assembly of the International Council of Museums (ICOM), held in Moscow.

Among the various resolutions adopted at that assembly was the celebration of an International Museum Day, which was established each year on 18 May, accompanied by the slogan: “Museums are an important means of cultural exchange, of enriching our cultures and of developing cooperation and mutual understanding, as well as peace among peoples”.

The aim was to make the population aware of the importance of these institutions in the development of society. To support this mission, each year ICOM selects a theme on which all the actions of this day will revolve.

The celebration is worldwide, including numerous activities and free admission to all museums and institutions that subscribe to the proposal.

As a curiosity, we have delved into the newspaper libraries of various newspapers and have found references to Museum Day as early as 1978. This year, in Barcelona, the Museum of Art of Catalonia and the Museum of Ethnology of Barcelona, among others, took part in it, and an essay competition was organised for E.G.B. students under the title “My visit to the museum”. Another newspaper also mentions that this year admission to all state museums was free.

In 2018, International Museum Day achieved a record participation with more than 40,000 museums organizing activities around the world.

We hope that this year, focused on “museums as cultural axes: the future of tradition”, a new record will be reached! So… Happy Museum Day!