International Museum Day

Every year, while we may remember to visit museums on the occasion of International Museum Day, May 18, we tend to forget all about their problems: the museum shops which so often lack many items, even exhibition catalogs, as well as the frequent absence of a refreshments area so that visitors can sit for a while and slake their thirst. Despite all this, museums are preparing to celebrate tomorrow’s event all over the world, so that they can promote cultural exchanges and advance education and understanding between different peoples. The message that the International Council of Museums (ICOM) has chosen for this year is «Museums and Cultural Heritage: Revisions and New Approaches.» The Greek branch of ICOM has chosen the National Glyptotheque as this year’s honored museum. The Glyptotheque celebrated the opening of its permanent collection last June. Greek museums have organized a series of activities, some of which will run to May 30. They include exhibitions, educational programs for primary and high school students, conferences, lectures, guided tours, as well as free admission on the day. Tonight, the Museum of Greek Musical Instruments will host a Karaghiozis shadow puppet theater show by Athos Danellis, titled «Karaghiozis and the Museum Theft.» At the same time, a photography exhibition will go on display at Larissa’s Municipal Library, with lectures and guided tours, while two additional exhibitions will open at the Aiani Archaeological Museum. One of this year’s more interesting events is a guided tour with a difference for children and adults alike which the Benaki Museum will run tomorrow and called «Why do I go to the Museum?» Tomorrow, the Numismatic Museum will run hourly guided tours. So will the Epigraphical Museum, which will focus on ancient voting and developments to the present day. The Lesvos Petrified Forest’s Natural History Museum is holding a special exhibition on the forest’s birds and the Sparta Archaeological Museum is hosting the display «Counting Time, Then and Now.» Educational activities have been organized for visitors to the Ceramic Construction Museum and all the other thematic museums of the Piraeus Bank Group’s Cultural Foundation (PIOP), with free admission. The Ilias Lalaounis Jewelry Museum, which is currently hosting an exhibition of sculpted rings by Aphrodite Liti, has organized a series of meetings with the artist. Crete’s History Museum has planned an event titled «Excavation: An Adventure of the Heart and Mind» and the Archaeological Museum of Hania will run a musical soiree with Italian canzonettas and songs by Manos Hadjidakis and Mikis Theodorakis. For further information, contact ICOM, tel 210.323.9414.