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Remembering times gone by: Iziko marks International Museum Day

Iziko Museums of South Africa is celebrating International Museum Day today with free access to select museums and entry to the Iziko Planetarium and Digital Dome at half-price for the public. Picture: Phando Jikelo/ African News Agency (ANA)

Iziko Museums of South Africa is celebrating International Museum Day today with free access to select museums and entry to the Iziko Planetarium and Digital Dome at half-price for the public. Picture: Phando Jikelo/ African News Agency (ANA)

Published May 18, 2022

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CAPE TOWN - When visitors enter a national museum, they get to see themselves as part of a much bigger story.

These were the words of Glynn Alard, the Natural History Educator at Iziko Museums of South Africa during the Iziko’s first in person symposium this week being held in celebration of International Museum Day today.

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This year’s theme is the Power of Museums, with the Iziko Museums hosting a dynamic program of events, activities and new exhibitions.

To mark International Museum Day, entry into selected Iziko Museums is free of charge with half price entry to the Iziko Planetarium and Digital Dome.

The symposium kicked off on Tuesday at the TH Barry Lecture Hall at the International South African Museum (ISAM) focusing on the Iziko Art collections with speakers who looked at the importance of Art Collections in society. They also touched on the ISANG 150th anniversary celebration taking place in September by exhibiting the past and the future.

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“When you come to a museum, particularly a national museum meaning it holds collections that are of national importance not just of Cape Town, when you come here you get to see yourself as part of a much bigger story. You get to see your story told and your part in it. When you look at the natural history, you get to understand your part as a human in the history of life on Earth,” Alard said.

“It is not just an art piece, it tells a story of society and to know that those things are going to be held forever in a national collection means that our stories are preserved and that our stories continue. These collections are not just old things, we continue to collect and we continue to acquire. When you come here you see that collecting is a profession and an important part of society,” Alard added.

Today’s symposium will focus on the Iziko’s Social History Collection, the voices of communities in museum spaces and contemporary South African ceramics inspired by historical trade.

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Various activities are open to the public including a tour around the archaeology collections, exploring ancient fossils and learning about Marine Biology.

Thursday is the final day of the symposium which will focus on the Iziko’s Natural History Collections and bridging the gap between invertebrate fossils and curating insects in the Iziko Entomology collection.

For more information, visit: https://www.iziko.org.za/news/celebrate-international-museum-day-iziko-museums-south-africa

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Cape Times

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