Night of the Museums will be celebrated on May 19

In Estonia the Night of the Museums will be celebrated on May 19, when more than two hundred museums, archives, galleries and manor-houses, also windmills and churches are open for visitors from 6 p.m to11 p.m or later free of charge.

As Estonian Film Centennial is celebrated in 2012 also the Museum Night is dedicated to our national film – “Cinema at Night”.

Year 2012 is dedicated to Estonian film all over Estonia, and as the history of our film-making is closely connected to museums, the centennial is jointly celebrated.

The first film was screened in Estonia, in Tallinn, already in 1896 in the 15th century Great Guild Hall. Today, the Great Guild Hall houses the Estonian History Museum and thus is the oldest contact between film and museum in Estonia and also a good reason to celebrate the Museum Night in this very particular hall.

The Estonian film was born in 1912, when Estonian National Museum commissioned a young photographer – Johannes Pääsuke, to film the flight of Utothckin on his peculiar flying-machine in Tartu. This very event gives the reason to the Jubilee Year of Estonian National Film.

In Estonia museums and other memory institutions celebrate the Museum Night for the fourth year whereas elsewhere in Europe it takes place for the 8th time. The Museum Night is on the closest Saturday to the International Day of the Museums (May 18), which is celebrated already for the 35th time this year. In 2012 already 20 years have passed since founding of the ICOM (International Council of Museums) Estonian National Committee.

So the museums offer free entry also on Friday, May 18 to celebrate the Day of the Museums to give people opportunity to see different exhibitions all over Estonia. On Saturday night together with archives, manor houses, windmills, churches and galleries the museums have also special film-linked programmes. Despite the form of ownership or size, museums and other memory institutions have their surprise programmes to make the Museum Nights continuously popular among people.

On May 19 a lot of documentaries and feature films will be shown, exhibitions in the sites where movies were taken will be open, film costumes and historical filming properties and old filming equipment will be exhibited, filmmakers will visit the museums, quizzes and games are planned.

Special thanks should be said to the Estonian Film Archive for assisting many local museums to screen in their premises historical documentaries about their neighbourhood, filmed years or even many decades ago.

The Night of the Museums has proved to be very popular in Estonia. Last year it was raining cats and dogs all over the country and also the popular TV show the Eurovision Song contest took place the same night competing both visiting museums. But still altogether 73,500 visits to the Museums were paid and this is a very good number in Estonia with the population of 1,3 million and the dense population in the countryside.

Estonian Museums wishes happy birthday to Estonian Film and hopes to celebrate the jubilee with the biggest number of films and the biggest number of audience within one night.

See the involved museums from