UNESCO brings museums of the world together to reflect on their future
UNESCO brought together 12 museum directors from around the world at an online debate on 18 March entitled Reflections on the Future of Museums (2 to 5 pm, Central European Time). The discussion focused on the impact of the pandemic on their institutions, how they are addressing ongoing challenges and preparing the future of their museums.
Estimated to number around 95,000 worldwide in 2020, museums have been particularly hard hit by the pandemic. Ninety percent of them closed their doors, while others have been put to different uses. Whereas some museums are currently reopening their doors to visitors, others, according to the International Council of Museums (ICOM), may never open again.
To overcome the challenges of a world deeply marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is becoming crucial for museums to adapt and reinvent themselves. Questions regarding their future are becoming more pressing than ever and the debate will provide an opportunity to discuss the conditions and environment needed to operate the transformation of museums at the international level.
List of panelists:
Barbara Helwing, Director of the Vorderasiatisches Museum (Berlin)
Tristram Hunt, Director of the Victoria & Albert Museum (London)
Deborah Lynn Mack, Director of the National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian (Washington, D.C.)
Xudong Wang, Director of the Palace Museum (Beijing)
Juliana Restrepo, Director of the National Museum of Colombia (Bogota)
Antonio Saborit, Director of the National Museum of Anthropology (Mexico City)
Ahmed Farouk Ghoneim, Executive Director of the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization (Cairo)
Barbara Jatta, Director of the Vatican Museums (Vatican City)
Mikhail Piotrovski, Director of the Hermitage Museum (Saint Petersburg)
Hamady Bocoum, Director of the Museum of Black Civilizations (Dakar).