Our Congratulations on the International Museum Day

The International Museum Day is celebrated every year on May 18. In 2023, more than 145 countries around the world joined this tradition.

However, museum days were celebrated long before the creation of an integrated international holiday. For example, in Europe and in the Russian Empire, the first references to 'museum day' date back to the second half of the 18th century, a period when the states began active educational activities.

Since 1992, the International Museum Day has been celebrated each year under a theme relating to the museums’ salient features. According to the theme of the year, museums all over the world prepare informative and educational programs, and admission to many cultural institutions is free on this day.

As highlighted in the ICOM Resolution “On sustainability and the implementation of Agenda 2030, Transforming our World” (Kyoto, 2019), all museums have a role to play in shaping and creating sustainable futures, and they can do this through educational programmes, exhibitions, community outreach and research.

The theme for the 2023 International Museum Day edition is Museums, Sustainability and Well-being. Museums are key contributors to the well-being and to the sustainable development of our communities. As trusted institutions and important threads in our shared social fabric, they are uniquely placed to create a cascading effect to foster positive change.

Museums have the power to transform the world around us. As incomparable places of discovery, they introduce us to history and open up new horizons. Today, many museums are becoming innovative platforms for developing new technologies that can later be applied in everyday life. Digital innovations are making museums more accessible and their visits more engaging, helping audiences understand complex and nuanced concepts.

Perhaps the best-known tradition of the event is the annual Museum Night festival, which in recent years has been hosted by many Russian museums. It is usually held on the weekend closest to May 18th. Depending on the desire and possibilities of an institution, Museum Night takes one day, a whole weekend, or the entire week. Entrance to museums is free of charge during the festival. Visitors are invited to guided tours, interactive programmes, lectures and master classes, and activities for children – families often come to attend the Night of Museums.

On this International Museum Day, we invite you to join thousands of museums around the world and discover the power of museums!