International Museum Day: How to celebrate in SA

2017-05-16 16:00 - Louzel Lombard Steyn
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Cape Town - Thursday, 18 May 2017, sees the global museum community to celebrate International Museum Day. The theme for this year is, “Museums and contested histories, saying the unspeakable in museums.”  

South Africa won't be left out of the party, and most of SA's major museums will be throwing open their doors in celebrations of history, art and culture. 

If you're in Cape Town, entrance to most of the iconic Iziko Museums (excluding Groot Constantia Estate), will be free. 

In the Mother City, this year’s programme kicked off a week ahead of the International Museum Day on 12 and 13 May, when participants and supporters of the Slave Route Challenge were invited to visit the Iziko Mobile Museum at the Castle of Good Hope. 

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Slavery in the Cape dates back to 1653 when the first slave arrived in the Cape. In total, approximately 60 000 slaves were imported into the Cape until slavery was abolished in the mid-1800s. The stories of these people are often left untold, and heritage sites such as the Iziko Slave Lodge preserve the stories of many slaves. 

The Iziko South African Museum will give the public an opportunity to see collections of dinosaur fossils, rock art and live spiders with guided and behind-the-scenes tours. Visitors can also participate in drumming, watch the cultural performance Walking Tall, avid readers can also enjoy some story reading in the Discovery Room.

Organisers encourage Capetonians and tourists to visit the popular annual book sale, or take a walk through to view the art and sculpture collections at the Iziko South African National Galley. 

In addition, an exciting informative public lecture is planned at the Iziko Maritime Centre at the V&A Waterfront, where knowledgeable maritime curators will present talks about the first minefields at sea around the Cape to shipping and military enthusiasts of all ages, and interested members of the public.

The Iziko Planetarium will not be open to the public on International Museum Day this year, but visitors can look forward to the re-launch. Doors to the revamped Iziko Planetarium and Digital Dome are set to re-open following extensive refurbishments on 24 May. 

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If you're in Joburg and Pretoria, you won't miss out on International Museum Day either. 

Ditsong: Museum of South Africa (DMSA) in collaboration with City of Tshwane (CoT), Freedom Park and Council for Geosciences will be celebrating International Museums Day 2017 at Cultural History Museum.

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There will be a launch on Thursday 18 May 2017 where few schools will be invited to attend a prize giving ceremony for passports and introducing new competition. 

All participating museums will be opened for free to the public from 15 to 22 May 2017. This will give the opportunity to South African Citizens to take their families to experience what museums offer.

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There will be lectures offered for free at University of Pretoria (UP) in celebration for IMD week. Subjects will include Preparation of Fossils, Initiation Ceremonies, and Research about SJP Kruger, Introduction to Archaeology, Archaeozoology and Human remains.

These are some of the lectures to join in on - 

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