People, Travel

Museums Worldwide to Promote Sustainable Living

Museums Worldwide to Promote Sustainable LivingMuseums Worldwide to Promote Sustainable Living

The International Council of Museums (ICOM) will be hosting an event to celebrate International Museum Day on May 15, 2015. This year’s event, themed ‘museums for a sustainable society’, aims to highlight the role of museums in raising public awareness about the need for an environmentally-conscious, energy-saving society which uses resources in an efficient manner.

In a press release published on the ICOM website, the organization’s president Prof. Dr Hans-Martin Hinz said, “Museums, as educators and cultural mediators, are adopting an increasingly vital role in contributing to the definition and implementation of sustainable development and practices. Museums must be able to guarantee their role in safeguarding cultural heritage, given the increasing precariousness of ecosystems, situations of political instability, and the associated natural and man?made challenges that may arise. We must do everything we can to ensure that museums are part of the cultural driving force for the sustainable development of the world.”

  ICOM Iran

To commemorate International Museum Day, Iranian National Committee of ICOM (ICOM Iran) will be hosting a competition to announce the country’s top museums; CHTN quoted public relations office of ICHHTO (Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization) as stating.

In a meeting held by the deputy of ICOM Iran and attended by the head of RICHT (Research Institute of Cultural Heritage and Tourism) Seyyed Mohammad Beheshti, as well as senior members of the ICHHTO and museum directors from around the country, participation in the competition was discussed and museums directors were briefed on how to take part in the event.

Museums which have been in operation for at least one year are eligible to participate. Participants are asked to submit PowerPoint reports on the event website ( – which will launch in a few days – between April 21 and April 30. Participating museums will be size-sorted on the basis of ICOM standards; they will be divided into three categories of large, medium, and small. They are further categorized into public and private museums.

The jury will begin deliberations on May 8 and will reach their verdict by May 18.

“The event is more than just a competition,” Mohit-Tabatabaei said, adding that improving museum management is one of the main goals of the competition.

According to Mohit-Tabatabaei, participants will be judged on 12 criteria, including museum visits, artifact collection and presentation, maintenance and protection, and research.

  Museums and Sustainable Societies

Mohit-Tabatabaei stressed that the lack of a sustainable society is a major problem plaguing Iranian cities, noting that there are groups that would not hesitate to destroy cultural heritage sites.

These groups base their belief on the notion that human societies have the capacity to advance, and strive for modernization.

“We need to bridge the past into the future; not destroy our past in order to establish a sustainable society,” he urged.

Referring to France and England as prime examples of modern countries with a strong link to their past identity, he said, “If you look at Europe, you will notice that nations which pioneered the industrial revolution were inspired by their past, and you can see the influence in their modern infrastructure.”

Mohit-Tabatabaei expressed hope for the future, saying people have started to pay more attention to history, despite the pace at which the world is advancing.

“In the past, the only thing we cared about during a war was the number casualties. But now, we also pay attention to the damage done to historical landmarks, whether it be physical destruction or looting.”

ICOM established International Museum Day in 1977 to help increase public awareness of the role of museums in the development of society, and it has been steadily gaining momentum ever since. In 2014, International Museum Day garnered record-breaking participation with more than 35,000 museums hosting events in 145 countries.