UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office participated in the second celebration of the “International Museum Day”, organized by the General Office for Museums under the Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization) which took place on 22 May 2019 at Niavaran Complex.
A number of Iranian officials including the Director of National Committee of ICOM Dr. Seyyed Ahmad Mohit-Tabatabaie, the Deputy of Iran Cultural Heritage, Handicraft and Tourism Organization Dr. Mohammad Hassan Talebian, the Head of General Office for Museum Mr. Mohamd Reza Kargar participated in the celebration. The ceremony started with a speech delivered by Mr. Kargar describing activities that have been done by the General Office for Museums to improve museum management during the past years. He emphasized the number of new museums that have opened since the Islamic Revolution and highlighted the active role of Iranian community in preserving and promoting local culture through establishing private museums across Iran. He mentioned that the challenges coming from the recent economic crisis in Iran are successfully mitigated thank to the overwhelming support of the community.
Mr Cvetan Cvetkovski, Officer-in-Charge of the UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office also delivered a speech on the occasion of celebration of the International Museum Day 2019. In his statement he accentuated the important role of the museums in the transmission of knowledge, learning and understanding of cultural identities. This year’s theme of the celebration of the International Museum Day, “Museums as Cultural Hubs: The Future of Tradition”, highlights the role of museums as important agents of sustainable development, as they provide quality educational and cultural contents for local and international communities.
One of the important approaches of UNESCO to museum related activities is the close involvement of communities. Museums using the community-based approach are able to mobilize members of communities they represent to contribute to the process of collecting, preserving and exhibiting artefacts to the public, with a view to building and reinforcing their specific sense of history and identity. Museums endeavor to preserve the cultural or religious objects, indigenous knowledge and traditional skills of the communities they serve, along with the environments in which such objects were used, thus enabling community members to take the role of primary guardians of communities’ history and collective memory. Iran represents one of the most successful examples in case studies on the application of the community-based approach in the area of not only preservation, but also in the area of creating and opening new museums. Iran is also an example of high degree of diversification of the types of museums and the variety of entities and stakeholders involved in museum management.
Mr. Cvetan Cvetkovski stated the role of UNESCO in the UN response to the recent floods in Iran and the related action plan elaborated jointly by the UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office and Iran Cultural Heritage, Handicraft and Tourism Organization as a response to the damages to cultural sites after the flood – museums being important pillar of interventions in their preservation and access.
As a side event to this celebration, an exhibition of handicrafts from Baluchistan took place.
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