Harbouring Beauty

International Museum Day is celebrated globally on 18th May. This year’s focus is on Museums and Cultural Landscapes. So what exactly do we celebrate on the 18th of May, and why? The International Council of Museums (ICOM) says that the point is to raise the public’s awareness on the role museums play in the development of society. From Argentina to Zambia, the event strengthens communication through the vocabulary of art.

Museums are archives that store, research and exhibit objects of historical, scientific, artistic or cultural interest. They’re meant to be spaces that urge us to reflect, but more than that, they are cultural hubs that invigorate public debate and push us to see the world through a lens that makes us think. Museums enliven the debate of what it means to be human and what means to be here, now.

A protagonist of one of Africa’s vibrant success stories, The V & A is the perfect platform on which to celebrate. It’s a treasure-trove that houses The Cape Town Diamond Museum, Chavonnes Battery Museum, The Springbok Experience Rugby Museum, Maritime Centre, Robben Island Museum and most recently- the Zeitz MOCAA Museum currently underway. What began as a refreshment station at the Cape in 1652 for the Dutch East India Company is today radically different.

The cutting-edge, contemporary glance the V & A adopts is what makes it a liberating podium. If we extend the idea to a space not confined by walls, then the showcase at the sea is a gallery that exhibits multifaceted talent. Think of the stages that resound music, the shop windows that display distinctive fashion, the sculptures, films, literature and the make-up on the faces that are pallets for the creative. Colour. Shape. Sound. Art extends beyond borders. It exists wherever you look.

So what is happening at the V&A tomorrow?

Take advantage of FREE ENTRY at the Maritime Museum (in Union-Castle House behind The Cape Wheel), the Cape Town Diamond Museum (in Clock Tower Shopping Centre), the Mercedes-Benz Golf Hall of Fame (above Cape Town Fish Market), and The Springbok Experience Rugby Museum (on the Croquet Lawn on Portswood Ridge, above Dock Road).