Zimbabwe: NGZ Joins World Museums Day Celebrations

The National Gallery of Zimbabwe joined the rest of the Museums World in commemorating International Museums Day, in an online conference hosted by the British Council and the International Council of Museums.

International Museums Day is commemorated on May 18, every year and this year's theme is "Museums for Equality: Diversity and Inclusion", with focus on promoting diversity and inclusion in Museums.

Acting Executive Director and Chief Curator of the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Raphael Chikukwa, moderated a panel of discussion under the theme "How should museums respond to diversity in the COVID World?"

Chikukwa was joined by culture and museum experts Dr Errol Francis and Thanh Sinden from the UK.

Francis pointed out that the museum sector has an opportunity to protect its workers and the public, by playing a role in public health education.

In a statement about the discussion yesterday, NGZ noted important points about museums in the country.

"The power of objects, which constitute a large part of the existence of Museums, was discussed as it was noted that most objects were obtained through imperialism and war, and a need for repatriation is at bay," noted NGZ.

"Repatriation was established to require support from legislature in Western countries, a statement supported by Sinden, who added that if these objects are to remain housed in Western institutions, how they can best connect to their societies of origin."

On another panel about the important day, Kataoki Mami, Director of the Mori Art Museum in Japan made a presentation of her institution's virtual reality and 3D interface to which audiences receive guided tours. She posed the question as to whether physical numbers will return post- COVID-19, or perhaps, the digital platform will take the museums place in future.

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