National Museum Day in Indonesia Date in the current year: October 12, 2024

National Museum Day in Indonesia National Museum Day (Hari Museum Nasional) is celebrated in Indonesia annually on October 12. It commemorates the anniversary of the first Indonesian Museum Conference that took place in Yogyakarta in October 1962.

The history of museums in Indonesia dates back to the Dutch colonial period. It is believed that the first museum in the Dutch East Indies was opened by the German-born botanist Georg Eberhard Rumphius in Ambon, but the only mentions of this museum can be found in Rumphius’s books.

In 1778, a group of Dutch intellectuals led by the botanist Jacob Cornelis Matthieu Radermacher established the Royal Batavian Society of Arts and Sciences to promote research in various arts and sciences in the Dutch East Indies. The Society laid the foundation of the National Museum of Indonesia in Jakarta. Today, is regarded as the best museum in Indonesia and one of the richest museums in Southeast Asia.

Since the colonial authorities weren’t particularly interested in the study of the native culture, history, and nature of Indonesia, very few museums were established prior to the 20th century. They included the Bogor Botanical Gardens, Bogor Zoology Museum, and Radya Pustaka Museum. The colonial government became more interested in restoring and maintaining local heritage in the early 20th century, and more museums began to emerge.

During the Japanese occupation, the occupational authorities of Indonesia actually encouraged the development and showcase of local culture; however, the main goal of their cultural policy was the integration of Indonesia into the so-called Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.

Following Indonesia’s independence, the new government established the Ministry of Education and Culture, with museum management being one of its major responsibilities. The decades that followed saw the establishment of hundreds of new museums: there were 26 museums in Indonesia in 1945, 46 museums in 1968, 281 museums in 2010, and 412 museums as of May 2015. Each provincial capital in the country has a General Provincial Museum that focuses on its natural history, ethnography, and history.

Unfortunately, quantity doesn’t necessarily equal quality. Many Indonesian museums have poorly arranged collections and lack competent staff and funds to maintain their collections and buildings. National Museum Day was established to raise awareness of these issues and bring museum professionals together to find solutions.

National Museum Day was established in 2015 to celebrate the country’s museums and other cultural institutions such as aquariums, botanical gardens and zoos, as well as to give museum managers and other professionals in the field an opportunity to get together, discuss important issues, and find new innovative ways to support museums, further their development, and attract more visitors.

National Museum Day events are coordinated by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research and Technology, which oversees Indonesian museums. They include seminars and webinars where Indonesian and international museum curators can share professional experience, exhibitions, book presentations, and many others. However, the holiday isn’t just for professionals: one of the main goals of National Museum Day is to encourage the general public to visit museums more often in order to learn more about their country and its rich heritage.

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National Museum Day in Indonesia, holidays in Indonesia, cultural observances, Indonesian museums, museums in Indonesia