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International Museum Day 1999

Pleasures of Discovery

On the 18th of May 1999 museums throughout the world will be celebrating International Museum Day with the theme "Pleasures of Discovery".

In its definition in the ICOM Statutes a museum is a non-profit making, permanent institution in the service of society and of its development, and open to the public, which acquires, conserves, researches, communicates and exhibits, for purposes of study, education and enjoyment, material evidence of people and their environment.

This year ICOM members would like to highlight the idea of enjoyment and have therefore chosen "Pleasures of Discovery" as the theme for International Museum Day 1999. Indeed, while the museum is a place where you acquire knowledge, it is also a place for leisure and entertainment that should provide pleasure for all ages and where all our senses should be awakened.

Jacques Perot, the President of ICOM, stresses the fact that "exploring a museum should also include an element of play. We should feel the same excitement as when starting out on a journey where every object and testimony bring to light phenomena that are new and unknown".

The museum as a learning tool calls upon our sensitivity and our feelings, and enables us to understand the world in which we live as we set out to discover ourselves, our technical, scientific and natural environment and that of the living beings around us, as well as the discovery of the other in terms of time and space.

A visit to a museum, whether it be devoted to art , science, ethnography, archaeology, etc., should be like an outing where the pleasures of discovery are one of the essential attractions. And so the 1999 theme should gain public support as it offers all kinds of museums the opportunity to convince reticent visitors that museums are indeed places for enjoyment and discovery.

Every year more and more ICOM members take the initiative to celebrate International Museum Day. The event is proving to be a great success not only with professionals but also with the public.






Updated: 20 September 2005