News & events > One month left for International Museum Day 2017: What Can You Do?
17 Apr 2017

One month left for International Museum Day 2017: What Can You Do?

As we reported some months ago, the 2017 edition of International Museum Day, promoted by the International Council of Museums (ICOM) will be devoted to 'Museums and contested histories: Saying the unspeakable in museums'. This theme focuses on the role of museums that, by working to benefit society, become hubs for promoting peaceful relationships between people. It also highlights how the acceptance of a contested history is the first step in envisioning a shared future under the banner of reconciliation.

According to ICOM, by choosing to say the unspeakable in museums, the theme of the International Museum Day 2017 looks at how to understand the incomprehensible aspects of the contested histories inherent to the human race. It also encourages museums to play an active role in peacefully addressing traumatic histories through mediation and multiple points of view.

As every year, ICOM invites museums and cultural institutions of all types around the world to join in this celebration, aiming to generate a common vision for the future, beyond taboo subjects and towards a better understanding of one another.

What can you do?

  • If your museum or cultural institution would like to take part in International Museum Day 2017 and you have not designed your activities yet, visit ICOM's website, which provides some practical recommendations.
  • If your museum or cultural institution has planned activities for International Museum Day 2017, you can publish them on a world map by visiting (view also the video tutorial here)
  • In both cases, you can also download the communication kit for International Museum Day 2017.
  • If you're interested in visiting a museum and taking part in its activities on the occasion of International Museum Day, visit the ICOM website for details, or check what's on at museums near you.
The objective of International Museum Day is to raise awareness of the fact that “Museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples.” Organised on and around 18 May each year since 1977, the events and activities planned to celebrate International Museum Day can last a day, a weekend or a whole week. In 2016, more than 35,000 museums participated in the event in some 145 countries. For additional information, please visit