In celebration of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) International Museum Day 2020 (#IMD2020) on May 18, 2020, the Institute of National Museums of Rwanda organized a virtual celebration, marked by the launch of a temporary online exhibition by the Rwanda Museum of Art, entitled "Messages from Rwandan Women Artists": #EACHFOREQUAL, to honour the theme of the International Museum Day 2020: Museums for Equality: Diversity and Inclusion.
In this edition, we want to celebrate the manifold perspectives that make up museums, their communities and people, and champion tools for identifying and overcoming bias in what they display and the stories they tell
The IMD global celebration was created to promote Museums as an important means for the development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples. Museums have the unique ability to build a common ground of understanding based on cultural exchange and dialogue, and have the power to contribute to the advancement of the pursuit for a lasting peace.
The IMD celebrations are in tandem with UNESCO’s Recommendation Concerning the Protection and Promotion of Museums and Collections, adopted in November 2015. This Recommendation aims to supplement and extend the application of standards and principles laid down in existing international instruments referring to the place of museums and to their roles and responsibilities. In this respect, museums and collections constitute primary means by which tangible and intangible testimonies of nature and human cultures are safeguarded. As spaces for cultural transmission, intercultural dialogue, learning, discussion and training, they play an important role in education (formal, informal, and lifelong learning), social cohesion and sustainable development. Museums also have great potential to raise public awareness of the value of cultural and natural heritage and of the responsibility of all citizens to contribute to their care and transmission.
I congratulate Rwanda for finding a unique way of celebrating this important day, even under our current exceptional circumstances, where thousands of museums around the world remain closed due to the challenges of social distancing and lock-down measures, applied to prevent the spread of COVID19