On May 18 the world celebrated the annual International Museums Day, which was approved by the International Council of museums (ICOM) in partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) in 1977 with the aim of highlighting the vital and prominent role of museums.
The Unesco and ICOM celebrated International Museum Day 2022 under the theme The Power of museums, highlighting that museums have the power to transform the world around us.
As incomparable places of discovery, they teach us about our past and open our minds to new ideas, two essential steps in building a better future.
This year the aim is to explore the potential of museums to bring about positive change in their communities through three lenses: the power of achieving sustainability, the power of innovating on digitalisation and accessibility, and the power of community building through education.
In an exclusive statement to Qatar News Agency (QNA), ICOM Advisory Board and Strategic Plan Committee member Sharqi Dahmali said that International Museums Day is an occasion to highlight the vital and prominent role of these cultural institutions in preserving the various material and immaterial evidences of human civilisation in various fields.
He noted that the decision to mark International Museums Day was adopted during the 11th ICOM General Conference, held in Moscow in 1977, with the aim to increase and unify the creative ambitions and efforts made by museums, to draw the attention of the world public opinion to their activities, and to remind that museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and the development of mutual understanding, co-operation and peace among peoples.
Regarding the theme of this year’s celebration – *The Power of museums – Dahmali said that this theme refers to the role of museums as a "soft force" in achieving societal change through museum discourse.
In light of the museum renaissance being witnessed in many Arab countries, with the contribution of the government and private sectors, the occasion represents an opportunity to make museums a key partner in implementing sustainable development goals and promoting the values of diversity and tolerance in the Arab countries.
Dahmali said that *The Power of Museums will be the main theme of the 26th General Conference of the International Council of Museums in Prague from August 20-28.
In a similar statement to QNA, Msheireb Properties director of marketing and communications Dr Hafiz Ali stressed the importance of International Museums Day as an global occasion celebrated by museums worldwide.
He noted that Msheireb Museums has become a global destination known for its distinctive content and innovative style of presentation, and that the celebration of International Museums Day helps remind people of the importance of museums as an educational and cultural destination and as the main centre for preserving the memory of generations and the history of civilisations, peoples and countries.
Dr Ali added that Msheireb Museums launched the slogan *The Power of Innovation in Digitisation and Access to Information to mark the occasion and support the theme of this year's celebration.
He said that Msheireb Museums seeks to promote dialogue and the exchange of cultures through its digital application, which provides information in eight written languages: Arabic, French, English, Spanish, Italian, German, Chinese, and Hindi.
This provides visitors with greater access to information and enhances the vision of Msheireb Museums in communicating with a global audience.
Dr Ali said that this application will be an ideal solution for fans of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, in co-operation with Qatar Tourism.