museum diplomacy

On Sunday, the Arab American National Museum will host Rock for Refugees, a concert to benefit the national campaign Take On Hate, as well as Freedom House Detroit, the nonprofit that helps new arrivals fleeing persecution. [...] Organizer Ismael Ahmed was inspired to hold the concert, he said, both by the rising hostility to immigrants and refugees nationwide, and the hopeful resistance that was sparked by the Women’s March and the airport protests over the president’s Muslim ban.

Irina Bokova, the director general of Unesco, talked about how culture was instrumental to economic growth, citing a 2015 study that said the arts generated 29.5 million jobs worldwide, more than the auto industry. “Development without culture cannot be sustainable or equitable or inclusive,” she said. Other discussions at the conference resonated more subtly with the most salient issues of the day, including panels on refugees, censorship, heritage preservation and cultural diplomacy.

Now, an exhibition featuring more than 100 artworks and models of the museum has turned the spotlight on the institution itself. It illuminates the story of the Louvre and its transformation from a medieval fortress 800 years ago, to a grandiose palace and then a home to academies and studios before it became the world’s most visited museum and a cultural titan.

The new director of the Vatican museums, Barbara Jatta, presented a new multimedia web site to journalists at the Vatican press office on Monday. The user-friendly site, available in Italian, English, French, Spanish and German, contains thousands of images plus over fifty videos and virtual tours and has taken almost three years to complete.

Nicholas Thomas is the director of Cambridge’s Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. He likens museums to regions and nations in which all sorts of disparate elements are brought together [...] The thrust of his ruminations on the nature of collections is that, like collections of people, the sum is greater than the parts because of the dialogues, conversations, connections and interactions between inanimate objects as well as people.

In the context of this fraught historical moment, Tehran’s new exhibition is being promoted as a bracing act of cultural diplomacy. The exhibition is a collaboration between the government-owned TMoCA, the commercial Mohsen Gallery, and the Emirati Barjeel Art Foundation. It encompasses work from a variety of Arab countries 

This ongoing humanitarian crisis is also a crisis of cultural heritage [...] Amid such senseless destruction and despair, the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto has launched an encouraging and thought-provoking exhibition, Syria: A Living History, celebrating Syria’s “cultural diversity, historical continuity, resourcefulness, and resilience.”

Mexico City announced Thursday it would open a new tourism route called "The China Experience" to promote Chinese culture and cuisine. The route, offered by the city's leading tour bus operator Turibus, is built around two exhibitions currently on show at prestigious downtown museums, namely "China's National Art Museum Masterpieces" and "The Memory of Hands: The Splendor and Color of Guizhou's Heritage".

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