Pretoria – On 17 May 2019, the National Heritage Council of South Africa (NHC) collaborated with Tshwane museums in a bid to celebrate International Museum Day – 18 May through a coordinated dialogue between youth and adults on this year’s theme: “Museums as Cultural Hubs: The Future of Tradition”.
The following museums were part of the celebration: Ditsong Museums of South Africa, the Voortrekker Monument and Nature Reserve, Freedom Park, the GEO-Science Museum, the South African Post Office Museum, the South African Police Services Museum and the City of Tshwane.
The dialogue highlighted the importance of the role of museums as institutions that serve society and its development.
Reiterating the importance of museums, the panel of speakers discussed the pivotal role museums play particularly in educating people about their cultural history. “Museums bring people together as they demonstrate what social cohesion is”.” and “Museums are a symbol of hope into our future” are some of the powerful statements that came from the dialogue.
Adv. Kagiso Maphalle, Executive: Core Business at NHC, aptly shared the role the NHC plays in preserving the living heritage of South Africa with the hope of helping young people have a clearer understanding and connect with who they are.
“Just like museums, we hope that the work we are doing will one day help change people’s understanding of our cultures, traditions and heritage. It is important for all of us to know our identity and origin, because to know where you’re going to, you need to know where you come from,” said Adv. Maphalle.
According to the International Council of Museums, the objective of International Museum Day (IMD) is to raise awareness of the fact that, “Museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples.”
As institutions at the heart of society, museums have the power to establish dialogues between cultures, to build bridges for a peaceful world and to define a sustainable future.
International Museum Day is celebrated annually and all around the world on 18 May.
The following Tshwane museums are participating in International Museums Week this year and can be accessed free from 16 – 25 May 2019:
- The City of Tshwane Museums including the Pretoria Art Museum, Melrose House and Fort Klapperkop.
- DITSONG: Museums of South Africa including the National Museum of Natural History, National Museum of Cultural History, National Museum of Military History, Kruger Museum, Pioneer Museum, Sammy Marks Museum, Tswaing Meteorite Crater and Willem Prinsloo Agricultural Museum.
- Voortrekker: Monument and Nature Reserve
- Freedom Park
- Geoscience Museum
- South African Police Services Museum
- South African Post Office Museum
- University of Pretoria Museums
- Veterinary Historical Society of South Africa
- South African Mint