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The National Museum of Australia is temporarily closed to the public until further notice. Read more in our coronavirus statement

  • Closed
  • Free general admission

12 May 2020

Join our celebration of the power of objects

While our doors are closed due to COVID-19, the role of museums and galleries has never been more important in connecting communities and providing a platform to help explore and understand the meaning of what we are all experiencing.

In the lead-up to International Museum Day on 18 May 2020, ICOM (International Council of Museums) Australia has launched a social media initiative. It is calling on all museums and galleries to choose an object, work of art, or other artefact that reflects this moment in time in some fundamental way.

While we cannot celebrate our international day with you in person, the National Museum is delighted to join ICOM Australia's call for museums and galleries to unite in a simple online expression of our shared belief in the power of ideas and objects to nourish our lives.

Less than six months into the year, 2020 has already been unprecedented in so many ways. It started with the bushfire crisis that saw fire firefighters rightly honoured for their heroic efforts to protect land, lives and property. It helped redefine the way Australians consider climatic change and bushfire threats.

Undeniably a defining moment in Australia's history, the bushfire crisis was quickly followed by the COVID-19 pandemic which continues to test us as a nation in ways we could never have foreseen. The pandemic is redefining the way Australians live, work, share and stay in touch.

By playing our role in connecting communities and providing a platform for people to share their experiences, museums and galleries can help Australians to navigate this difficult terrain, and to make sense of this period when they look back on it in years to come.

The relevance and meaning of our collections, and our work, have never been more important.

This year's International Museum Day theme is 'Museums for Equality: Diversity and Inclusion'. We will explore our own collection and on 18 May, will reveal our choice of object that reflects these challenging times and affirms our faith in community and people.

We hope other museums and galleries will also select objects and that all Australians will join in by posting objects from home or from some another collection that inspires them, and that resonates in these difficult times.

On Monday 18 May 2020, check our Facebook, Instagram, Twitter channels using the hashtags #Our2020 and #IMD2020

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