In ancient Greece the word “museum” meant the shrine that was dedicated to the Muses and the arts that they represented. It was a place where arts, literature, music, poetry, philosophy and dance were cultivated.
Nowadays the museum is an ark of memory and knowledge. Within a museum, we travel in time, we come into contact with civilizations of yesterday and today, we become acquainted with the flora and fauna of our country, we learn, feel and get inspired, our soul and mind rejoice.
In 1977 the International Council of Museums (ICOM), wishing to highlight the role of museums in modern society, established May 18th as International Museum Day. The message of this day is for “museums to become vectors of cultural exchanges, in order to promote the development of education and mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among people”.
Each year, along with the general message of this celebration, a specific theme related to museums and culture is under exploration in all member countries of ICOM, with lectures and other events.
This year, the theme of the International Museum Day is “Museum collections make connections”. This theme is a reminder that museums are living institutions that help creating bonds between visitors, generations and cultures around the world. Honored museum in our country for 2014 is the Byzantine and Christian Museum of Athens, which this year celebrates its 100th anniversary.
The development of museums in Greece starts with the foundation of the Greek state, and is connected with the protection of antiquities. The first museum was the National Museum of Aegina in 1829. Our country is a vast exhibition space, full of history and culture, with hundreds of museums, mainly archaeological (more than 100), but also historical, folklore, war, natural history, art museums, etc.
On May 18th the entrance to the museums is free, in some cases with extended working hours, while many interesting events of educative and festive content are scheduled from the big museums within May (a web surfing will help you make your planning). It’s an opportunity, therefore, to arrange a visit with the whole family or with friends in a museum and enjoy this unique experience.
Stay in touch with your history and culture …it’s good for you!