The worldwide community of museums will celebrate International Museum Day around May 18, 2011. Museum and Memory is the theme of International Museum Day 2011. Museums store memory and tell stories. They have numerous objects in their collections that are basic to the memory of the communities we live in. These objects are the expressions of our natural and cultural heritage. Many of them are fragile, some endangered and they need special care and conservation. International Museum Day 2011 will be an occasion for visitors to discover and rediscover individual and collective memory.
Memory is a preoccupation for organisations beyond the museum community. ICOM has therefore initiated close institutional partnershipswith the UNESCO Memory of the World Programme (World Documentary Heritage), the Co-ordinating Council of Audiovisual Archives Associations (CCAAA), the International Council of Archives (ICA), the International Council of Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) and the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA).
IMD 2011 will focus on the African continent whose cultural contribution to the world is often unknown and deserves to be promoted.
The International Council of Museums (ICOM) established International Museum Day in 1977 to encourage public awareness on the role of museums in the development of society. Momentum has been rising unabated ever since. In 2010, International Museum Day garnered record-breaking participation with almost 30,000 museums hosting events in more than 95 countries.