IMD (International Museum Day) is a global day celebration that takes place annually around or on 18 May. ICOM (International Council of Museums) coordinates this event. The event always highlights a theme that keeps changing each year that’s at the heart of the preoccupations of the international museum community. The International Museum Day gives the chance for professionals of museums to meet people and inform them about the challenges museums face.
Following museums’ definition that ICOM provides, a museum is a permanent, non-profit institution that is in the service of society as well as its development. It’s open to the public to acquire, conserve, research, communicate and exhibit the humanity tangible and intangible heritage plus its environment for enjoyment, study and education purposes. Therefore, IMD serves as a platform for raising public awareness on the part museums play today in the improvement of society, on an international level.
Every year, museums from all over the world are invited to take part in the International Museum Day to promote museums’ role worldwide, creating unique, free and fun activities around a theme that is discussed within the community of the International Council of Museums specifically for this special day.
From the time it was created in 1977, the IMD has been seeing increasing attention. In the year 2009, IMD attracted 20,000 museums to participate and host events in over 90 nations. In the year 2010, 98 nations participated in the celebration. In 2011, 100 countries participated and 30,000 museums in over 120 countries in 2012. The official International Museum Day poster was translated into a total of 37 languages in 2011. Since 2012, that number had gone up by one to 38.