Sun, May 13, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Ministry unveils theme to mark museum day

Staff writer, with CNA

The Ministry of Culture has invited the public to celebrate International Museum Day on Friday next week, unveiling a new theme being promoted by museums nationwide.

“How a museum presents itself is a cultural perspective that reflects how society views its own civilization and presents its own point of view,” Minister of Culture Cheng Li-chiun (鄭麗君) said on Friday.

For instance, Musee du quai Branly-Jacques Chirac in Paris represents a “Eurocentric” outlook by featuring indigenous art and cultures from outside Europe, she said.

To celebrate International Museum Day, Cheng said the Ministry of Culture has come up with a theme of “diversity and friendship — exploring new publics and visiting museums,” echoing the theme — “hyper-connected museums: new approaches, new publics” — unveiled by the International Council of Museums (ICOM) for this year.

“More important than offering free tickets to visitors, museums should reflect on their meaning and function in a modern society,” Cheng said, adding that the theme chosen by the ministry this year also showcases its efforts to promote equal rights in culture by integrating different resources.

Vision-impaired visitors can now contemplate certain exhibits at Taiwanese museums by touching them, while multilingual services are available for new immigrants, she said.

The ministry has teamed up with the Ministry of Education to organize guided tours for students, while a plan to allow visitors to access museums nationwide using handheld electronic devices is being drawn up, Cheng said.

International Museum Day has been celebrated every year since 1977 and an annual theme has been adopted since 1992, said Hsiao Tsung-huang (蕭宗煌), curator of the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts and chairman of the Taipei-based Chinese Association of Museums.

“It was intended to encourage the public to reflect on the social responsibilities of museums and ask what else they can contribute to society,” Hsiao said.

A total of 72 museums nationwide are to mark International Museum Day by launching a series of special offers and activities, he said.

Many museums, including the National Palace Museum and its southern branch in Chiayi County, the National Museum of Prehistory in Taitung County and the National Museum of Natural Science in Taichung, are to offer free entry to visitors on Friday, he added.

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