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When & Where

Poland, Warsaw: 9-12/05/2018


European Museum Forum (EMF) Annual Conference and European Museum of the Year Award (EMYA) Ceremony 2018.
Go to for registration and more information.

Day 1

Wednesday 9.05. 2018

POLIN  Museum of the History of Polish Jews

  • 12.00 - 17.00 Registration and organized tours through the museum temporary and permanent exhibition
  • 19.00 - 21.00 Reception with welcome speeches in Warsaw Uprising Museum

Day 2

Thursday 10.05.2018

POLIN  Museum of the History of Polish Jews

  • 9.00     Opening of the EMYA 2017
  • 9.15 – 10.15    The Values of the Council of Europe Museum Prize
    A panel of three previous winners of the Council of Europe Prize discuss what it means to create a museum rooted in social and humanitarian values of democracy, of human rights, tolerance, and of bridging cultures.
    Dr David Fleming, Museum of Liverpool, UK, CoE prize winner 2013
    Prof. Dr. Husamettin Kocan, Baksi Museum, Bayburt, Turkey, CoE prize winner 2014
    Jacques Martial, Memorial ACTe, Caribbean Centre for the Expression and Memory of African Slave Trade and Slavery, Guadeloupe, France, CoE prize winner 2017
    Chaired by Jette Sandahl, European Museum Forum
    Candidates present their museums and discuss shared themes
    • Museums and Communities
    • Museums,  Art Galleries and National Identities
    • Storytelling  in Museums
    • Research on Display
    • Interpreting Art and Design
    • City Museums
  • 18.00 - 21.00 Reception

Day 3

Friday 11.05.2018

POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews

  • 9.00-9.45 Keynote Address
    David Anderson, Board Member of EMF, Director General of the National Museums of Wales, former Director of Learning of the V&A, London, former president of the Museums Association, UK


Three cultural musketeers from England - the publisher John Letts, the academic Richard Hoggart and Kenneth Hudson - were instrumental in the foundation of the European Museum of the Year Award. But in no way was this a British venture. Cultural leaders in Europe, such as Luis Monreal, then Secretary General of ICOM, also played a leading role.

The three Englishmen involved were dissidents. John Letts, a committed internationalist, publicly criticised the policies of UK governments and museum administrators. Richard Hoggart was the working class author of ‘The Uses of Literacy’, which redefined cultural theory in the UK. Kenneth Hudson was a freelance thinker and lifelong iconoclast, who sought inspiration from museums across the globe.

Four decades on from its foundation, EMYA now operates in a very different world. The European vision of its founders is being challenged by different political realities, including the mass migration of refugees and shifts in global power. The values that are central to EMYA - such as the promotion of human rights and the concept of cultural democracy - are being questioned, not least in the UK, where an emergent and nostalgic English nationalism is driving its departure from the European Union.

What role should European museums, and through them EMYA, play in contemporary Europe? And what role in the world? We must now reflect on the legacy of the founders of EMYA, and ask if it is still relevant to our present and future. Are our ethical frameworks fit for purpose? Should we rethink our definition of a museum? Is it time for a new generation of museum dissidents to make their mark?

Chaired by Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, POLIN Museum

    Candidates present their museums and discuss shared themes
    • Museums and Politics    
    • Transport Museums
    • Museums and Archaeology        
    • Museums of Individual Artists/Writers
    • Museums and Big Ideas     
    • Private Foundation Museums     
  • 18.00 - 21.00  Reception

Day 4

Saturday 12.05.2018

POLIN  Museum of the History of Polish Jews

  • 9.00 – 10.30: Final speeches and handing out of certificates
  • 11.00 – 13.30: Workshops for interested participants
    A series of parallel workshop facilitated by outstanding European museums from the awards of previous years will give participants an opportunity to learn from and to discuss the lead museum’s experience and the particular challenges in their process of renewal.
    • The POLIN, Warsaw
    • The Whitworth, Manchester
    • The War Childhood Museum, Sarajevo
    • MEG, Ethnographic Museum, Geneva
    • The European Solidarity Centre, Gdansk
  • Afternoon: Free time
  • 19.00-23.00 Award Ceremony
    • Welcome drinks reception/appetizers
    • Ceremony
    • Press Conference
    • Gala Dinner