“Museum collections make connections” is the motto for this year's International Museum Day, a global celebration of institutions and cultures taking place around May 18 every year. Established by the International Council of Museums (ICOM), the event aims to encourage public awareness with regard to the role of museums in societies.
At the city's landmark Acropolis Museum, in association with the Hellenic Mint, the institution has produced commemorative medals dedicated to the hare of the Acropolis, a bronze votive offering, to mark the day. The commemorative medals are on sale at the museum's shops. On May 18, the museum welcomes visitors with two special gallery talks on two distinct topics, “The Hare of the Acropolis,” and “The Moscophoros: A New Display of an Acropolis Masterpiece.” The former takes place at 10 a.m. in English, at 10.30 a.m. in French and at noon in Greek, while the latter will take place at 11 a.m. in Greek and at 11.30 a.m. in English. The lectures are limited to 30 participants per session and will be based on a first-come, first-served basis. On Sunday, the Acropolis Museum will open its doors to visitors, free of charge, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. It will close early due to the first round of local elections taking place on the same day. (Acropolis Museum, 15 Dionysiou Areopagitou, tel 210.9000.900, www.theacropolismuseum.gr)
The City of Athens is marking International Museum Day with a variety of events: an evening tour of “Tasos Zografos – A Retrospective” will take place on Saturday, May 17, at 10 p.m. The visit is led by Nelly Kyriazi, who curated the exhibition tracing the career of the set designer and artist (Athens Municipal Gallery, Building A, Germanikou & Milerou, Metaxourgeio, tel 210.520.2420-1, www.opanda.gr). At the Angeliki Hatzimichali Museum of Folk Art and Tradition doors will open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 17, and Sunday, May 18, for visitors to get acquainted with the oeuvre of Hatzimichali, a leading Greek folk tradition specialist, as well as visit an exhibition exploring links between traditional and contemporary handicrafts, featuring works by Artemis Alkalai, Eleni Krikki and Eleni Tzatzalos (6 Aggeliki Hatzimichali, Plaka, tel 210.324.3927). The Eleftherios Venizelos Museum (Vassilissis Sofias, Eleftherias Park), where a permanent exhibit traces the life and times of the Greek statesman, will welcome visitors from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 17.
Meanwhile, the Benaki Museum will be marking International Museum Day via musical guided tours of the Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghika Gallery (3 Kriezotou, tel 210.361.5702) on Saturday, May 18, at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. (www.benaki.gr).
Entrance to the Herakleidon Museum in Thiseio will be free of charge on Sunday, May 18, while the museum's shop will be showcasing a number of items at up to 70 percent off their original prices (16 Irakleidon, tel 210.346.1981, www.herakleidon-art.gr).
The Hellenic Cosmos cultural center celebrates the day with free admission to “Patterns of Magnificence: Tradition and Reinvention in Greek Women's Costume” on May 18. The show, previously on display at the Hellenic Center in London, explores Greek dress tradition from the 18th to the early 20th century and also marks the 40th anniversary of the Peloponnesian Folklore Foundation (PLI) (254 Pireos, Tavros, tel 212.254.0000, www.hellenic-cosmos.gr).
Family fun is a key aim at the Goulandris Natural History Museum-Gaia Center in the northern suburb of Kifissia, with a string of admission-free events taking place on Saturday, May 17, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. On the day's program is “Around the World in 55 Days,” an exhibition featuring photos by Simoni Zafiropoulou, a one-hour performance by pupils from the Pallini Experimental Music School, starting at noon, as well as lab visits and creative workshops (13 Levidou & 100 Othonos, Kifissia, tel 210.801.5870, www.gnhm.gr).