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Press Releases

Paris - April 2005

International Museum Day 2005 - "Museums Bridging Cultures"

ICOM is inviting museums all over the world to celebrate International Museum Day on 18 May 2005.
To pay tribute to cultural diversity and to encourage museums in their role of spanning various ethnic, religious, and national divides, this year's theme is "Museums Bridging Cultures".

Museums have unique potential for addressing and fostering cultural understanding in interdisciplinary ways and reaching a wide cross-section of the world's population. The International Council of Museums (ICOM) supports international initiatives, partnering programs, and multicultural activities in museums on an ongoing basis.
For International Museum Day, ICOM also proposes specific activities linked to highlighting this theme on the 18th of May.

Bridging means "sharing" - the mutual appreciation of differences and valuing diversity encourages vibrant and innovative approaches.

As Alissandra Cummins, President of ICOM, reflects: "In communities around the world the museum functions actively and recognizably as a valued instrument in the bridging of cultures, treating the cultures of rich and poor, large and small countries as equals, to help develop respect and appreciation for other cultures, and to enhance these communities' ability to equitably interrelate across cultural borders, whether real or imagined."

This year's International Museum Day aims at raising public awareness about the vital role museums play in celebrating differences. On one level, museums create a new sense of community by giving value to a common cultural heritage. On another, museums can also highlight the role of individuals and groups whose singularities and differences are the cornerstone of the diversity inherent to that common heritage.

With more than twenty thousand members in 115 countries, ICOM is itself a perfect example of a multicultural, interdisciplinary community. Initiated by ICOM in 1977, International Museum Day is an annual event establishing and strengthening cooperation between and among museums and museum professionals.

It is therefore fitting that this year's theme is descriptive of the historical, present and future mission of ICOM, bringing museum people together worldwide, turning bridges into networks.

For further information about the theme or the activities planned for International Museum Day :


Updated: 8 October 2005