Mosaic from the Ishtar Gate © FlavoredPixels / Shutterstock

Museums are places of cultural heritage, enshrining the continuity between the innovations of today and of the past. They are also centres of learning and discovery, and are a tangible point of contact for local communities with their cultural roots, as well as being a hub for meeting and appreciating the cultures of others. As such, museums have a great potential to contribute to the social, cultural and economic development of the communities they reflect. It is for this reason that UNESCO focuses on supporting museums of cultural heritage across the world, in particular those in post-conflict or post-natural disaster areas, where museums themselves and their precious contents are often under threat of theft or destruction.

The Silk Road has a very rich legacy of Movable Heritage, displayed in museums along the lengths of these routes. These museums are presented and promoted by the new Online Platform, connecting the historic cultural legacy of the Silk Road from across the world.