International Museum Day 2021

18 May 2021

UNESCO Almaty Marks International Museum Day with Video Tours of Museums in Five Countries Across Central Asia and the South Caucasus

International Museum Day is celebrated in over 150 countries each year on the 18th of May.

To mark International Museum Day 2021 UNESCO Almaty created short films of five museums in Almaty, Bishkek, Tashkent, Dushanbe and Baku.

Each video introduces viewers to the outstanding exhibits on offer and encourages locals and tourists alike to pay a visit to a museum.

The five museums showcased are the following:

1. The National Museum of Tajikistan Dushanbe
The National Museum in Dushanbe displays a collection of over 50,000 items across its 22 exhibition halls, including exhibits on the cultural heritage, flora and fauna of Tajikistan. Visitors can browse four comprehensive departments, including natural history, ancient and medieval history, modern and contemporary history, and fine art. Among the Museums most renowned items are a 600kg tree made from precious stones from Tajikistan with over 19,000 beautifully decorated leaves, a 13m 6-8th century Buddha found in the Ajina-Teppa Monastery, and a collection of items from the ancient city of Panjakent including wall paintings and ceramics.

2. The Azerbaijan National Carpet Museum Baku
In its distinctive carpet-shaped building, the Azerbaijan National Carpet Museum displays over 1 million carpets of varying size, shape and technique from all over Azerbaijan. The Museums activities are aimed at popularising the art of the Azerbaijani carpet amongst the public, as well as researching its history, techniques and styles. The Museum curates temporary exhibitions in more than 50 countries, sending its exhibits to be enjoyed by museum-goers across Asia, Europe and America.

3. The Central State Museum of the Republic of Kazakhstan Almaty
The Central State Museum of the Republic of Kazakhstan is one of the oldest and largest museums in the entire region of Central Asia. The Museum features seven exhibition halls covering palaeontology, ancient history, the history of the Middle Ages, modern history, contemporary history, and the cultural heritage of Kazakhstan. As the countrys most visited museum, each year the Central State Museum welcomes up to 130,000 visitors, curates more than 30 new exhibitions and presents over 100 public lectures.

4. The State Museum of the History of Uzbekistan Tashkent
The State Museum of the History of Uzbekistan was founded in 1876 and holds more than 340,000 items in its collections. The Museum is particularly noted for the great historical value of its numismatic collections, which include coins minted between the 5th century BCE and the 19th century. In particular, the Museums collection includes coins from the rule of Alexander the Great, coins from the ancient Achaemenid Empire, as well as from the Kushan, Khwarazm, Sogdian and Chach dynasties and the Khanates of the descendants of Genghis Khan, the Bukhara, Khiva and Kokand dynasties. In its ethnographic collection, the museum presents an array of artefacts of great artistic, historical and cultural value, including household items and handicrafts.

5. Gapar Aitiev Kyrgyz Museum of Fine Arts Bishkek
The Kyrgyz Museum of Fine Arts is named after the influential Kyrgyz artist and teacher Gapar Aitiev and displays traditional Kyrgyz applied arts as well as art from the Soviet period. The main collection also includes 72 works by Russian artists transferred from the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow and from the collections of the former Soviet Russian Commissariat of Education. The Museums entire collection encompasses about 18,000 items including 4000 paintings, over 9000 samples of graphic art, over 1000 sculptures and 3000 arts and crafts items.

International Museum Day was first placed on the calendar at the meeting of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) in 1977. ICOM represents museums all over the world and has 40,000 members in 141 countries.

Museums not only contribute to economies through research and tourism, but they also create spaces for international cultural exchange and dialogue around the world. Thanks to clever and adaptive use of modern technology, museums continue to play an important role in democratising access to culture and shaping a better informed and more educated society.
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