International Museum Day

“Real museums are places where Time is transformed into Space.”
― Orhan Pamuk, The Museum of Innocence

I always feel this when I step into Museums. Today, 18th of May, 2022, as we observe the International Museum Day, I thought of sharing sneak peeks of some of my remarkable museum visits. I enjoy visiting museums everywhere I go, however, big or small because museums provide an opportunity of learning about the locals, the history of the place and its culture in details. Here I just make a list of 3 museums which are very special to me, The Vatican Museum, The Acropolis Museum and The Indian Museum. On my bucket list I have many but Louvre and the British Museum are on top of the list.

The Vatican Museum, Vatican City

The Vatican Museum has around 3000 keys to open the doors which lock some of world’s most precious exhibits. The vast museum is the third most visited museums in the world and with a group of museums together, it could be a little baffling to the visitors. It is International Museum Day and the Vatican Museum not being discussed is next to impossible. The frescos by Michelangelo and other grand masters, majestic pieces of woven art, oil paintings, magnificent sculptors, gorgeous ceilings, humungous painted maps and many more leave the visitors wonder about the great artists who had made them. The Sistine Chapel, the Tapestries Hall, Gallery of Maps, Chiramonti Museum, Rio-Clementine Museum, Rotunda Room, Room of Signature, Room of Immaculate Conception and finally the Pine Cone Courtyard comprise of the total trip of the Vatican Museum. One ought to marvel at each and every corner. Definitely with the Vatican Museum we also toured the St. Peter’s Basilica. Basically, we toured a country in a day. Yes, the Vatican City is the world’s smallest country.

The Acropolis Museum of Athens, Greece

Opened in 2009, this museum provides and understanding of how exactly the Acropolis was and exhibits the finds from the acropolis. The museum is absolutely modern, standing few metres away from the sacred rock on which stands the Acropolis of Athens. Inside this modern building, one is teleported instantly to those ancient times. Walking on the transparent floor with the excavated 3000 years old Athenian township underneath is enthralling. The massive building hovers above the excavation and is held with the support of strong pillars. There are numerous sculptors, some original and some cast copies, both displaying terrific artistry and craftsmanship. The walls are glass walls allowing sunlight to come in and give a brilliant shine to the displays. Ancient Greek Civilisation is represented in a unique and comprehensible fashion. On the International Museum Day I had to mention about the Acropolis Museum even though I have seen many other museums in Greece. I can never forget the glory of the Caryatids of Erechtheum, the artistry of the Moschophoros and the wonder of the archaeological site below the main entrance to the museum.

The Indian Museum, Kolkata, India

Founded in 1814, Indian Museum is the earliest and the largest multipurpose Museum the Asia-Pacific region. Besides being the oldest it is also the largest museum in India and thus makes it on the list of my favourites on International Museum Day. The Indian Museum is a seat of learning about every subject possible. The Archaeological Gallery exhibits sculptures and excavated items which are thousands of years. They are precious pieces of art. Visiting the museum is a great way to learn history. Anthropology and zoology are well explained at the Evolution Gallery. Then there are Fossil and Rock Gallery, Mammal Gallery, Insect Gallery and Aquatic Gallery too, exhibiting numerous species for educative purpose. Impressive art of taxidermy is observed here. Painting Gallery, Textile Gallery and Decorative Art Gallery showcase the best of Indian art. The Egyptian Gallery is also great in comprehending Egyptology. The architecture of the museum is massive and imperial.
This year the Indian Museum, Kolkata, is celebrating International Museum Day by displaying Shahjahan’s emerald goblet and emerald ring and Buddha’s urn for the first time. There exhibits will be showcased throughout this week.

Why is International Museum Day Observed?

The International Council of Museums (ICOM) has been celebrating this day since 1977 to spread awareness about the fact that Museums are an important means of enriching cultures, cultural exchange and developing mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among people. The theme of International Museum Day, 2022, is ‘The Power of Museums’. More than 30000 museums from around the world are participating and observing the day with similar events, activities and celebrations to maintain a harmony. There are numerous museums in the world with only India having more than 400. I am sure I will be able to see and learn more from various other large and small museums.
Dipannita Bhattacherya

7 thoughts on “International Museum Day”

  1. Arpita Bhattacherjee

    Happy to see you have been to so many world museums, I am sure you will see more of them… God bless you

  2. Saswati Mukherjee

    Well described. It could be a travel guide for someone who wants to see Vatican museum. and pictures are like virtual tour.

  3. Santanu Bhattacharjee

    Excellent descriptions and photographs of Vatican Museum,The Acropolis Museum of Athens, Greece and others. I didn’t visit Vatican City or Greece but when I read writer’s description it seemed like I was observing everything physically.

  4. I loved to read about History of Vatican Museum…. And all those antique from 3 museum are irreplaceable……

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