GIS – 20 May 2015: The Mauritius Museums Council, in collaboration with the Ministry of Arts and Culture, inaugurated yesterday an insectarium which is located at the Natural History Museum-Nature Gallery in Port Louis to mark the International Museum Day. The insectarium, conceptualised and designed locally, houses some 200 insects comprising butterflies, wasps, beetles, bees and moths.
This year’s theme for the International Museum Day is Museums for a sustainable society. It highlights the role of museums in raising public awareness about the need for a society that is less wasteful, more cooperative and that uses resources in a way that respects living systems.
In his address at the inauguration ceremony, the Minister of Arts and Culture, Mr Santaram Baboo, recalled that today museums are facing a changing and competitive environment. However, museums are adopting an increasingly vital role in contributing to the definition and implementation of sustainable development and practices, he said.
According to him, modern museums must look at the future and new markets. They have to be constantly evolving entities. They cannot be considered as passive repository of the past. Museums have to work, through education and exhibitions for example, and strive to create a sustainable society.
As technology is transforming the cultural landscape, museums should take advantage to reinvent themselves and endeavour a fundamental shift and become commercially proactive.
The Mauritius Museums Council has two national and seven specialised museums under its purview, namely Natural History Museum, National History Museum, Robert Edward Hart Memorial Museum, Sookdeo Bissoondoyal Memorial Museum, Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Memorial Centre for Culture, Frederik Hendrik Museum, Peopling of Mauritius Museum, Mauritius Postal Museum and the Museum of Indian Immigration.
Created in 1946, the International Council of Museums (ICOM) established International Museum Day in 1977 to increase public awareness of the role of museums in the development of society. ICOM is an international non-governmental organisation maintaining formal relations with UNESCO. Within the United Nations, ICOM has a consultative status with the Economic and Social Council. It is the only international organisation representing museums and museum professionals on a global level.