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Late night opening set for May

The annual ‘Museums at Night’ event will this year take place from 15-17 May. A national campaign for late night opening across the UK, it seeks to attract people into museums who don’t usually visit simply by staying open late or by creating special events. It will link up with the European-wide campaign of the same name (La Nuit de Musées), which takes place on 16th May.


The UK equivalent is funded by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) and organised by Culture24. This year the message is simple: open up your museum or heritage site at night and do whatever you want to do.
Many museums have already signed up, including The National Gallery in London and The Sainsbury Centre for Art in Norwich.
Roy Clare, chief executive of MLA, said: “Modern life for many people is a 24-hour experience. Museums at Night responds to this round-the-clock lifestyle by providing a rich and unusual opportunity for everyone to spend quality time browsing the great diversity of UK collections. I am delighted the MLA is able to support Culture24 in encouraging people, especially those who would never normally go to their local museum, to devote an evening to discovering the free resources that lie just on their doorstep. Previous years have shown how being involved in a Museums at Night event is a wonderfully rewarding and engaging experience.”
In 2008, 2,200 museums in 40 European countries took part and it is hoped that UK museums will be able to rise to the challenge and respond by staging unique social events, screenings, tours, or simply by opening later.
The weekend also aims to ensure that, in the wake of Museums and Galleries Month, the enthusiasm generated among museums and galleries for a joint promotion across the UK is not lost and the profile created in the media of May as a ‘museum month’ is maintained.
Last year Museums and Galleries Month worked with over 150 venues on a range of Museum at Night events. For 2009 Culture24 is developing a UK-wide promotion, including competitions, public participation and PR support to ensure that UK museums can build on the achievements of previous years.




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