The International Council of Museums (ICOM) established International Museum Day in 1977 to increase public awareness of the role of museums in the development of society.
In 2014, International Museum Day enjoyed record‐breaking participation with more than 35,000 museums hosting events in some 145 countries. Over the weekend hundreds of museums across the world put on special events and New Zealand and Australia were busy with events overnight.
This year the theme of Museums for a Sustainable Society highlights the role of museums in raising public awareness about the need for a society that is less wasteful, more cooperative and that uses resources in a way that respects living systems.
ICOM President, Prof. Dr Hans‐Martin Hinz, said: “Museums, as educators and cultural mediators, are adopting an increasingly vital role in contributing to the definition and implementation of sustainable development and practices. Museums must be able to guarantee their role in safeguarding cultural heritage, given the increasing precariousness of ecosystems, situations of political instability, and the associated natural and man‐made challenges that may arise.”
He added that ICOM wanted to ensure that museums are part of the cultural driving force for the sustainable development of the world.