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May 21, 2020

International Museum Day Celebration Events in China 2020 Conference

International Museum Day Celebration Events in China 2020


Every year on May 18th, museum professionals in China get together to celebrate the International Museum Day (IMD). Under the leadership of the National Cultural Heritage Administration, Chinese Museums Association / ICOM-China helped Chinese museums to organize a variety of events surrounding the theme of the International Museum Day. IMD is an opportunity for museums to provides a platforms for communication and exchange. 

For the past several months, like other museums around the globe, Chinese museums have been temporarily closed. National Cultural Heritage Administration have developed several measures to continue core museum functions while protecting museum staffs. Up until now, more than 2,000 online activities and exhibitions have successfully attracted more than 5 billion visits, and have provided the public with a cornucopia of options during the prolonged period of self-isolation.

The 2020 IMD Celebration was hosted by the National Cultural Heritage Administration, Jiangsu Provincial Government and supported by Chinese Museums Association/ICOM-China. The celebration featured a variety of programs, including the Ceremony, Museum Academic Forum with the theme: Museums for Equality: Diversity and Inclusion, Youth Perspective: Diversity and Inclusion and Long Night of Museum, which were all held in Nanjing. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ceremony was live-streamed with a relatively smaller venue and fewer on-site audiences.

In the Celebration Ceremony, with the pleasure and honor, we have successfully invited Ms. Suay Aksoy, the President of ICOM to make the opening address. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is hard for Ms. Aksoy to attend the events physically. Dr. An Laishun, Vice President of ICOM, delivered the message on her behalf. In her letter, Ms. Aksoy says “Under the guidance of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage (SACH) Chinese Museums Association and ICOM China have followed an exemplary course of action during the days of the COVID-19…”, “It is with profound admiration that we have seen museums working to bridge the gap by supporting the scientific community through education and finding new ways to reach their public, wherever they may be.”

Director of the National Cultural Heritage Administration Liu Yuzhu attended the Ceremony by 5G from Beijing, he said during the ceremony: “By the end of 2019 we had a total of 5,535 registered museums in China, an increase of 181 museums over 2018. That is one museum per every 250,000 people. Among those 5,535 Museums, 1710 museums were private, showing accelerating growth. In 2019, we had 28,600 exhibitions across the country, attracted 1.2 billion visitors, which included 119 million visitors from private museums. 4,929 museums in China are free and they draw 422 million visitors per year. Free museums enable people who are protected or with low income to enjoy museums’ rich cultural products equally as others”.

The winners of the 18th Top 10 Exhibitions of the Year (“Chinese Museum Oscars”) and the Most Innovative Museum of the Year was revealed during the ceremony. Top 10 Exhibitions of the Year was by CMA to encourage innovation in exhibition content, form, and technique, as well as to promote museum education and cultural services.

The Most Innovative Museum of the Year has inspired museums to make significant contributions to local communities. Winners of the Most Innovative Museums of 2020 are Jinsha Site Museum, The Museum of Imperial Palace of Manchu State and Jiangxi Provincial Museum.

The theme of 2020 IMD is “Museums for Equality: Diversity and Inclusion” has been translated and advertised right after its release. On May 18, during the Museum Academic Forum, CMA/ICOM-China helped invite many leading scholars in the field to discuss how to build more equal, diverse, and inclusive museums. The list includes Mr. Alberto Garlandini, Vice President of ICOM, Prof. Bae Kidong, Chairperson of ICOM-ASPAC, Director General of National Museum of Korea, Prof. Tomislav Šola, Director of The Best in Heritage, Dr. Tristram Hunt, Director of The Victoria and Albert Museum, and Prof. Amareswar Galla, Chair of The Inclusive Museum Research Network.

At night, Nanjing museum had ”Chinese Temperment” Museum Night event, which includes 270 small activities such as antique authentication, salon, lecture, mini-exhibition and so on, to satisfy a variety of needs.


Click here to view IMD promotional video