Each year since 1977, countries worldwide celebrate heritage, art, the natural world and learning through International Museum Day. Museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding and cooperation. The participation of more than 37 000 museums across the globe take this day, 18th March to raise awareness of this pivotal role.
What is International Museum Day?
This year, the International Museum Day theme is The Power of Museums. The International Council of Museums want to use the power museums have to transform the world around us. For not only are museums places of discovery that teach us about our past, they open our mind to new ideas too. Looking back and looking forward – two essential steps in building a better future. This year, the event is about exploring the potential of museums to bring about positive change through:
- The power of achieving sustainability
- The power of innovating on digitalisation and accessibility
- The power of community building through education
As many museums celebrate this day with free entry, it is a great time to take the family out on an educational – and affordable – outing! Here is where you can tour for free in South Africa this International Museum Day.
Free entry spots on 18th May
- Zeitz Mocaa (between 10am and 2pm)
- Iziko South African Museum
- Iziko South African National Gallery
- Iziko Bo-Kaap Museum
- Iziko Slave Lodge
The Iziko museums and galleries are also offering the public to engage in a series of activities held especially in celebration of International Museum Day. This includes half-price on Planetarium shows, which are wonderful for adults and kids alike!
- National Museum of Natural History
- National Museum of Cultural History
- Museum of Military History
- Willem Prinsloo Agricultural Museum
- Tswaing Meteorite Crater
- Pioneer Museum
- Kruger Museum
The Javett Art Museum at the University of Pretoria will also be hosting a film screening of the documentary series 21 Icons. It showcases artist Mmakgabo Helen Sibidi and others sharing stories of black artists living under apartheid’s oppressive regime.
- KwaZulu-Natal Museum
- Tatham Art Gallery (which is free all year round!)