How to explore a European museum in the dark

“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life” – Pablo Picasso

International Museum Day poster

This month at Angloinfo we are celebrating global art, literature, festivals and entertainment in blogs, through tweets and on Facebook.

Whether you’re a new or long-time expat it can be difficult to keep up with what’s going on your doorstep. So, today I’m hoping to help by throwing a spotlight on International Museum Day and a fun European event, taking place at thousands of locations in the art and museum world this weekend.

Today, 18 May, is International Museum Day when museums all over the world will be hosting special events – in many cases entry will be free. Check out participating museums here.

La Nuit des Musées poster looking at a museum in the dark

And this Saturday, 20 May, you have the chance to visit museums at night across mainland Europe. It’s all part of the Nuit Européenne des Musée or European Night of Museums celebrations, aka ‘Europäische Nacht der Museen’ and ‘Por el noche europea de los museos’.

The Museum at Night event started in 1997 in Berlin with Lange Nacht der Museen, it then moved to Paris in 1999 for the Nuit des Musées and spread across Europe to become the variously translated European Night of Museums in 2005.

In the UK it’s known as Museums at Night (@MuseumsAtNight), a four-day cultural event which started on 17 May and continues through to Saturday 20 May.

The idea is that museum goers wander around collections at night, enjoying music, theatre, art galleries and surprise performance all of which will be more exiting for night time lighting or darkness.

An estimated 1,300 museums in France and 3,000 museums across the rest of Europe took part in 2016, the majority opening their doors to visitors until midnight. An equal number are expected this weekend.

Map of Europe showing Nuit Européenne des Musée events

Check out the Nuit Européenne des Musée  ‘programme’ for details of participating museums. (Note: the Nuit Européenne des Musée website is not the easiest to navigate. I recommend you click on their map (above) and zoom in to the location you are interested in.)

Looking for more local events? Head to your local Angloinfo and click on ‘Events’.