International Museum Day may be celebrated on May 18 around the world, but this year in Malaysia, it will be a week-long celebration this month in Melaka.

Happening from July 21 to 29 at the Proclamation of Independence Memorial compound in Bandar Hilir, the national-level celebration will see a host of activities and exhibitions taking place in the Unesco World Heritage City.

The event this year is hosted by the Melaka Museum Corporation (Perzim).

The theme of this year’s celebration is Hyperconnected Museums: New Approaches, New Publics. It’s a good topic as museums try to stay relevant in a more technology-driven community, said Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry secretary-general Datuk Rashidi Hasbullah.

“In today’s age of technology, museums should seek new approaches and target markets. This is to ensure that they remain relevant to the public,” he said during a pre-launching event at Muzium Negara in Kuala Lumpur.

“Museums here should prepare to face more challenging times ahead as they seek to uplift the industry,” he added.

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Melaka Museum Corporation will host this year’s national-level celebration of International Museum Day.

Rashidi also said museums should reach out to all sections of the community.

“Our museums should engage with the minority groups in the country by creating and diversifying methods in the way they (museums) translate and present their collections,” he offered.

A total of 31 agencies, private sector as well as local and international museums are involved in this year’s celebration. Some activities to look out for are specially curated exhibitions, dondang sayang workshop, heritage trail tour and cultural performances.

The festivities mark the 22nd national-level celebration of International Museum Day. The first one was held in 1997 at the Malaysian Police Training Centre in KL.

Since then, the celebration has been celebrated at various venues throughout the states in Malaysia.

Themes for International Museum Day are selected annually by the International Council Of Museums.