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International Museum Week 2023's theme is Sustainability & Well-Being

International Museum Week 2023 is right around the corner, and this year's theme is sustainability! Museums worldwide are gearing up to participate in this exciting initiative, highlighting their commitment to sustainable development, well-being, and the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals. From educational programs to interactive exhibitions, museums are showcasing how they can contribute to a more sustainable future. Let's dive into the diverse range of events and activities planned for this year's International Museum Week.


International Museum Week 2023's theme is Sustainability & Well-Being

As part of the International Council of Museums' (ICOM) resolution on sustainability, museums have a crucial role to play in shaping sustainable futures. They can achieve this through educational programs, exhibitions, community outreach, and research. Each year, International Museum Day aligns with specific United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. In 2023, the focus is on global health and well-being, climate action, and the protection of terrestrial ecosystems.


 UNESCO Celebrates International Museum Day with the Global Museum Community - UNESCO World Heritage Centre
UNESCO Celebrates International Museum Day with the Global Museum Community - UNESCO World Heritage Centre

Korea Museum Week sets the stage for the International Museum Day celebrations. With over 280 museums and art galleries participating nationwide, the event has grown significantly since its inception in 2012. This year's theme, "Museums, Sustainability, and Wellbeing," brings attention to everyday environmental challenges. Exhibitions in seventeen museums transform issues such as waste and pollution into thought-provoking art, raising awareness and fostering dialogue about their future impact.


In Seoul, the Whanki Museum hosts an exhibition that artfully depicts environmental concerns, with a focus on waste and pollution. Through innovative art installations, visitors gain a deep understanding of the environmental issues at hand. Additionally, the museum collaborates with visually handicapped participants, who create their own impressions of the artist's works on canvas. These remarkable creations are displayed alongside the exhibition, inspiring visitors and showcasing the power of inclusivity in art.


Park Mee-jung, director of Whanki Museum, poses in front of Kim Whan-ki’s artworks. (Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald)
Park Mee-jung, director of Whanki Museum, poses in front of Kim Whan-ki’s artworks.

The National Museum of Korea takes a holistic approach to sustainability, focusing on mental health and well-being. Through immersive exhibitions and interactive experiences, visitors are encouraged to prioritize their mental well-being and explore techniques for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. From mindfulness workshops to guided meditation sessions, the museum provides a serene and reflective environment for all ages.


Moving to Türkiye, the European Night of Museums offers a captivating experience for visitors across the country. Over 40 museums, including the Istanbul Archaeology Museums and the Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum, open their doors for extended hours, welcoming art enthusiasts and history buffs alike. Istanbul's Archaeology Museums provide a glimpse into the past, while highlighting the importance of sustainable practices for the preservation of historical artifacts. In the capital city of Ankara, the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations showcases the region's rich heritage and promotes cultural sustainability.


In Izmir, the Ephesus Archaeological Museum explores the theme of sustainability through its exhibitions, shedding light on the significance of preserving ancient sites and fostering responsible tourism. Meanwhile, the Andriake Archaeological Site in Antalya focuses on the intersection of cultural heritage and environmental conservation. Visitors can learn about the historical importance of the site while understanding the role they can play in protecting natural ecosystems.


Ephesus Archaeological Museum
Ephesus Archaeological Museum

Seychelles is also joining the International Museum Day celebrations with a week-long series of activities under the theme "Museums, Sustainability, and Well-being." The Seychelles National Museums are hosting events for all ages, including public speaking competitions for school children and restoration work at historical sites. The aim is to engage the younger generation and raise awareness about Seychelles' heritage, history, and natural environment.


Local museums held public speaking competitions for school children.
Local museums held public speaking competitions for school children.`

At the National Museum of History, visitors are treated to live traditional music while exploring the museum's collections. The museum's free access during this special week encourages the public to delve into their cultural heritage and deepen their understanding of Seychelles' history and traditions.


In India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurates the international museum expo in New Delhi, marking the ongoing Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations. The expo focuses on the theme of "Museums, Sustainability, and Well-being" and aims to highlight the significant contributions museums make to sustainable development and well-being.


PM Narendra Modi to inaugurate international museum expo tomorrow
PM Narendra Modi to inaugurate international museum expo tomorrow

The expo provides a platform for extensive discourse among museum professionals, fostering collaborations and knowledge sharing. In addition to the inauguration, the event features a virtual walkthrough of the upcoming National Museum at the North and South Blocks. This immersive experience showcases India's rich history, remarkable achievements, and the journey that has led to its present-day cultural diversity.


As International Museum Week approaches, visitors worldwide have the opportunity to engage with museums that are leading the way in sustainability. Through captivating exhibitions, interactive workshops, and thought-provoking discussions, museums demonstrate their commitment to addressing global challenges and promoting well-being. By participating in International Museum Week, individuals can gain a deeper appreciation for the vital role museums play in shaping sustainable futures and fostering a sense of connection with our cultural heritage.


As we celebrate International Museum Week, let's explore museums, appreciate their invaluable contributions, and join the global movement towards a more sustainable and well-balanced future.





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