On November 21, the New Media and Museum Cultural Communication Forum was held at the National Museum of China. More than 30 experts and scholars from foreign and domestic cultural institutions, museology, archaeology and communications departments of institutions of higher learning, as well as media organizations engaged in in-depth interdisciplinary discussions.

During the keynote discussion, Wang Chunfa, Director of the National Museum of China, said museums need to ponder how to utilize new media to make innovations in cultural transmission, so as to close the distance between museums and the people, vitalize cultural relics in museums, and better nourish the public with history and culture. An Laishun, vice president of the International Council of Museums (ICOM), shared the results of two investigations conducted by ICOM this year. It is reported that the proportion of museums permanently closed due to Covid-19 has risen to 18%. Global museums have begun to adjust their work and development strategies, and nearly 40% of them have already or are currently considering providing digital services. Yuan Xinwen, director of the Literature and Art Department of the People’s Daily, suggested that museums should be farsighted and affiliative when leveraging new media; and should never neglect the exploration, explanation and dissemination of the cultural relics in their collections while applying new technologies. Shen Weixing, president of the Guangming School of Journalism and Communication at the China University of Political Science and Law, said new media have moved away from one-way communication and into a new stage where everyone can communicate with everyone, while the dissemination of museum culture should be mobile, visual, targeted and intelligent.

During the subtopic discussions, experts freely aired their views on issues like the changes in the dissemination of museum culture brought by new media, online exhibition sand new ways of disseminating museum culture, the dissemination value and trends brought by the interdisciplinary integration of museums and Internet Plus, and the application of new media technology in museum services. Song Xiangguang, professor from the School of Archaeology and Museology at Peking University, said museums should serve as participants, facilitators and public opinion leaders, establishing an equal partnership with the public to disseminate knowledge together. Qi Qingguo, general secretary of the Beijing Museum Association, said museums should focus on providing situational experiences through new media, integrate online and offline operations, and try to explore and reconstruct museological knowledge. Honored guests from the National Museum of China, the Palace Museum, the Shanghai Museum and other institutions shared their best practices and latest ideas. All in attendance agreed that the key to vitalizing cultural relics is exploring their cultural value and connotations and disseminating them in ways favored by the public. The experts from institutions of higher learning aired their views from a theoretical perspective, holding that to disseminate museum culture, museums must maintain their essential characteristics and fully utilize the advantages of new media.

In addition, Dr. Rainer Vollkommer, Director of the Liechtenstein National Museum; Hannah Boulton, Head of Press and Marketing at the British Museum; and Elizabeth Galvin, Head of Learning and Digital Programmes at the Victoria and Albert Museum, attended the forum and shared experience via video.

The participating experts all agreed that the forum is a high-level conference that explores new media and the dissemination of museum culture from different perspectives based on practices and theories from home and abroad. It also provides numerous valuable suggestions for the future use of new media by cultural heritage and museological organizations.

This forum is sponsored by the National Museum of China and co-organized by China Science Publishing & Media Ltd.