Chinese museums celebrate the 44th International Museum Day in Nanjing

Since 1992, museums around the world celebrate the International Museum Day each year on the 18th of May. The Museum Day was initiated by the International Council of Museums as a communication platform for museums and the public to address issues related to museums and society under a certain theme. This year’s theme was “Museums for Equality: Diversity and Inclusion”.

Teaser Image: The official Chinese version of the 2020 International Museum Day poster under the theme “Museums for Equality: Diversity and Inclusion” (平等的博物馆: 多元与包容) (Source:; accessed 19.03.2020)

In China, the 2020 International Museum Day was hosted by the State Administration of Cultural Heritage and the People’s Government of Jiangsu province. The venue for the main event was held in the Nanjing Museum, one of the largest and oldest museums in China. Besides an award ceremony for the Top Ten Exhibitions of 2019, the events included a forum for young talents in the museum industry, and the opening of a special exhibition with a selection of national treasures from across China to showcase the legacy of the Qin and Han dynasties (221 BC-220 AD).

The new Erlitou Relic Museum in Luoyang, Henan province, officially opened in October 2019. (Photos: Patrick Wertmann)

Due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic, the scope of the International Museum Day events was entirely unclear, and the organizers were confronted with strict regulations to ensure the safety of the visitors. For the first time, most of the participating institutions decided to organize digital activities, including a live stream of the main event. In a donation ceremony, items commemorating the fight of the medical workers against the coronavirus epidemic were donated to the Nanjing Museum.

During the opening speech, Liu Yuzhu, head of China’s State Administration of Cultural Heritage, summarized the latest developments of China’s museum industry. Liu emphasized the opening of more than 180 museums across China in 2019, among them the Erlitou Relic Museum, the National Maritime Museum, and the new Tibet Museum. A total of 5,535 museums were registered nationwide last year, counting 28,600 exhibitions, more than 334,000 educational activities, and more than 1.2 billion visitors.

Nearly 2,000 virtual exhibitions were launched during the COVID-19-epidemic. The Palace Museum in Beijing was one of the first institutions to promote and expand its digital programmes.
(Screenshots are taken from the Palace Museum App)

Virtual exhibitions from museums across the country can be accessed on a new digital platform jointly launched by the State Administration of Cultural Heritage and Xinhua Agency. The photo shows a digital tour by one of the museum guides from the Museum of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.
(Screenshots:, accessed 19.03.2020)

Nearly 2,000 online exhibitions were launched during the coronavirus period, attracting more than 5 billion views. The State Administration of Cultural Heritage launched in collaboration with Xinhua Agency a digital platform for virtual exhibitions from museums across the country.

Further informations / Weitere Informationen zu Archäologie-Museen in China:

Blogmaster: Pascal Olschewski