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International Museum Day Hong Kong to bridge cultures

"International Museum Day 2005, Hong Kong", organised by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD), begins this afternoon (May 14).

Under the theme of "Museum Bridging Cultures", around 70 museums and cultural institutes from Guangdong Province, Macau and Hong Kong are participating in the event.

The highlight programme of this event - Museum Panorama - held on the First Floor of the Hong Kong Heritage Museum, also started today.

Speaking at the opening ceremony for International Museum Day, the Secretary for Home Affairs, Dr Patrick Ho Chi-ping, said that while each country built up its own unique culture, museums allowed people to learn about the arts, history and culture of different places around the world.

"The education and entertainment functions of museums are getting more important in the 21st century. Therefore, we will continue to strengthen the service standards provided by local museums," Dr Ho said.

The two-day Panorama, open from 10am to 6pm daily, provides visitors with entertaining booth games and a series of educational activities. It contains three main parts - the Theatre Programme, Interactive Zone and Courtyard Carnival.

The Theatre Programme includes talks on Chinese medicine, health, Cantonese opera and architecture.

In the Interactive Zone, there will be workshops such as Chinese book-binding, model-making and Chinese martial arts.

Booths of 18 museums and cultural institutes from Guangdong Province, Macau and Hong Kong are featured in the Courtyard Carnival. Details of individual museums, their characteristics, services and activities will be showcased.

The exhibition, "Gems of Museums", held at the Thematic Galleries 3 and 4 at the Heritage Museum, is another highlight of this year's International Museum Day. Representative collections selected from major local museums are on display.

Apart from these activities, the public can visit 26 local museums and cultural institutes free of charge (except the Special Exhibition Hall of the Hong Kong Science Museum and the Stanley Ho Space Theatre of the Hong Kong Space Museum) and view more than 100 exhibitions. The Lei Cheng Uk Han Tomb Museum remains closed as renovation work is in progress.

More than 200 programmes are organised for this special event including lectures on the work and functions of museums, demonstrations on art and traditional handicrafts, model-making, children's programmes, free guided tours and behind-the-scenes tours.

To encourage more people to visit local museums, visitors to the Museum Panorama will receive an "IMD Game Card" which enables them to take part in a game from today until August 31. Participants who bring along this game card and visit a participating museum or institutes will get a stamp and receive a souvenir card. Upon the collection of 18 stamps, participants can get an "International Museum Day 2005, Hong Kong" souvenir watch. The souvenirs are available for collection while stocks last.

"International Museum Day 2005, Hong Kong", being organised locally for the fifth time, is in support of International Museum Day first designated on May 18, 1978, by the International Council of Museums.

Participating cultural institutes include: Hong Kong Museum of History and its branches, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong Heritage Museum and its branches, Hong Kong Science Museum, Hong Kong Space Museum, Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence, Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware, Hong Kong Film Archive, Central Conservation Section under LCSD, Antiquities and Monuments Office, Art Promotion Office, Museum of Ethnology, Foods of Mankind Museum, Tung Wah Museum, Po Leung Kuk Museum, The Hong Kong Racing Museum, University Museum and Art Gallery of The University of Hong Kong, Art Museum of The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Planning and Infrastructure Exhibition Gallery, Hong Kong Museum of Medical Sciences, Hong Kong Correctional Services Museum, Police Museum, Guangdong Provincial Department of Culture, Guangzhou Municipal Bureau of Culture and The Museum of Macao.

Programme booklets with details of "International Museum Day 2005, Hong Kong" are available now at all participating Hong Kong institutes. Information is also available on the website, . For enquiries, please call 2180 8188.

Ends/Saturday, May 14, 2005

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