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Date:May 18, 2021

Opening Ceremony for International Museum Day 2021 Held at Capital Museum of China

The opening ceremony for International Museum Day 2021 (IMD) was held at the Capital Museum of China in Beijing, on the morning of May 18. The event was hosted by the National Cultural Heritage Administration and the People's Government of Beijing Municipality; organized by the Chinese Museums Association (CMA) and the Beijing Municipal Administration of Cultural Heritage; and co-sponsored by the Beijing Museum Society, the Capital Museum of China, and other related museums in Beijing. 

Among those in attendance were Hu Heping, secretary of the Leading Party Members' Group and minister of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism; Chen Jining, deputy secretary of the CPC Beijing Municipal Committee and mayor; Li Qun, deputy minister of Culture and Tourism Ministry and head of the National Cultural Heritage Administration; Wang Xudong, member of the Leading Party Members' Group of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and curator of the Palace Museum; Yang Bin and Jin Wei, members of the Leading Party Members' Group of the CPC Beijing Municipal Committee and vice mayors; and Guan Qiang, member of the Leading Party Members' Group of the National Cultural Heritage Administration and deputy director.


At the opening ceremony, Hu Heping and Chen Jining jointly opened the exhibition titled "Pursuing Eternity: Conservation of Museum Collections in China." Guan Qiang and Yang Bin signed the "Strategic Cooperation Agreement on Building Beijing into a City of Museum Between the National Cultural Heritage Administration and the People's Government of Beijing Municipality." A series of activities were also launched during the event, including the "Museum 5G New Life" activity by the National Cultural Heritage Administration and China Mobile; the TV program "A Collection of China's National Treasures" co-produced by the National Cultural Heritage Administration and the China Media Group (CMG); and the "Golden Microphone Award Winners Interacting at Museums." 

Li Qun said that China's museums have made remarkable achievements in pursuing their development with the support of the Party and the country and the active participation of all sectors of society.

Firstly, the top-level design of museums is increasingly improving. The reforms on the protection of collections, the presentation and utilization, educational services, and institutional management are in full swing. "The Guiding Opinions on Promoting the Reform and Development of Museums" deliberated and adopted at the 9th Meeting of the Central Leading Group on Cultural Reform will be officially issued in the near future.

Secondly, the layout of China's museum infrastructure has been continuously optimized. Since the 13th Five-Year Plan, one museum has been created every two days on average in China. By the end of 2020, there were 5,788 registered museums throughout the country, including 1,224 first-grade, second-grade, and third-grade museums. A modern museum system with rich variety and diverse subject matter has basically been formed. 

Thirdly, the social function of museums has been greatly improved. Within the context of the widespread impact of the pandemic on museums around the world, over 29,000 exhibitions and more than 225,000 educational activities were launched in China's museums in 2020, receiving 540 million visitors and millions of online audiences. Facing the new era, museums across the country should take on their historical mission to give full play to the functions in collecting, presenting, research, education, and communication to better meet the needs of the people for a better life. We should also implement the new development concept, innovate the system and mechanism of museums, and constantly promote the modernization of the governance system and governance capacity. We should build a new development pattern, focus on solving the problem of unbalanced and inadequate development, and speed up the establishment of a high-quality development system for museums. We should shoulder the new development mission, actively serve the construction of a cultural power, and constantly enhance the international influence of Chinese civilization.

Yang Bin said that General Secretary Xi Jinping had made important instructions during his visit to the Capital Museum, which provided a fundamental guide for the high-quality development of museums. In recent years, under the guidance of the National Cultural Heritage Administration, Beijing's museums have made great progress. In the future, with the joint efforts of all the staff members of museums and the whole society, Beijing will gradually establish a museum system with a reasonable layout, optimized structure, distinctive feature, abundant vitality, and complete functions, making Beijing a world-famous "City of Museums." 

Alberto Garlandini, president of the International Council of Museum (ICOM) sent a video congratulating those at the event. He reaffirmed the long-term and successful cooperation between the ICOM and the Chinese museum community and called on museums around the world to join hands to build a bridge between peoples and cultures of all countries and promote the development of cultural diversity.

Winners of the"2021 Most Innovative Museums" and the 18th "Top Ten National Museum Exhibitions (2020)" were announced at the opening ceremony. 

On the afternoon of May 18, a themed forum around International Museum Day was held at the Capital Museum to discuss the development of museums in the new era. Later that evening, the Capital Museum held a "Museum Night" event with exhibitions, dramas, Peking opera, and dances for the public. Various museums in Beijing will hold a series of events, including distinctive exhibitions, academic seminars, education and communication workshops, and public experience and cultural heritage promotional activities to bring cultural heritage to life.

The theme of International Museum Day 2021 is "The Future of Museums: Recovery and Reimagine." Looking to the future, museums must create new ways of thinking, explore new models, and put forward new plans on how to deal with challenges faced by society, the economy, and the environment, and adjust and improve their own functional positioning and development direction.

In accordance with the unified deployment of the National Cultural Heritage Administration, and sticking to the theme of International Museum Day, thousands of activities of rich content and various forms have been held throughout the country to build a bridge between museums and the public. Many museums in Inner Mongolia, Liaoning, Jilin, Heilongjiang, Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui, Fujian, Jiangxi, Shandong, Henan, Guangxi, Tibet, Shaanxi, Gansu, Xinjiang, and other provinces and cities held activities for International Museum Day. Hebei Museum, Liaoning Provincial Museum, Shanxi Museum, Henan Museum, Gansu Provincial Museum, Guizhou Provincial Museum, Zhengzhou Museum, and many other museums launched new exhibitions before and after May 18. Some museums in Heilongjiang, Jiangsu, Yunnan, Guangxi, and other places provided free guides and other services on May 18. In addition, museums all over the country organized various offline activities such as mobile exhibitions, cultural lectures, object authentication, cultural and creative product releases, interactive experiences, educational research, and so on, as well as online featured activities such as online exhibitions, live webcasts, and online contests to help boost cultural and museum knowledge. 

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