That is the theme for this year’s International Museum Day, celebrated around the world on this day since 1977 to raise public awareness of the role of museums in the development of society. In 2013, some 35,000 museums hosted events in more than 143 countries. This year’s theme serves as a reminder that museums are living institutions that help create bonds between visitors, generations and cultures around the world.
Cape Town has some wonderful museums, each one specific to a unique aspect of South Africa’s history. The Heart Museum at Groote Schuur Hospital honours strides made in cardiology in this country, centred on Professor Chris Barnard’s successful human heart transplant. The Rugby Museum, an interactive, immersive experience at the V&A Waterfront, will have fans of the Springboks captivated, regardless of their age. The District Six Museum , honours and remembers this once vibrant part of the city that was destroyed by forced removals during Apartheid as a result of the Group Areas act.
Situated in the Waterfront’s Clock Tower precinct, not far from Cape Grace, the Cape Town Diamond Museum, documents South Africa’s significant contribution to the international diamond industry. Diamond mining in South Africa dates back to December 1866 when 15-year-old Erasmus Jacobs found a transparent rock on his father’s farm, on the south bank of the Orange River, which turned out to be a sparkler.
Some of the world’s largest and most valuable diamonds were discovered in South Africa during the 19th century. Replicas of famous iconic gems, including the Cullinan, the Hope and the Taylor Burton, can be admired at the museum for their size and brilliance. The museum is open seven days a week from 9am to 9pm. Entrance is free.
Visit the International Museum Day official website for more formation.
Blog Post by Jane Broughton
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