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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 - 18.00 Registration
  • 19.00 - 21.00 Reception at the Warsaw Uprising Museum
    Jan Ołdakowski, Director, Warsaw Rising Museum
    Jette Sandahl, Chair, European Museum Forum

Day 2
Thursday 10.05.2018

POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews

  • 9.00 – 9.20 Opening of the EMYA 2018
    Professor Dariusz Stola, Director of POLIN
    Jarosław Sellin, Secretary of State, Ministry of Culture and National Heritage
    Niepodległa Programme Video
    Jette Sandahl, Chair, European Museum Forum
  • 9.20 – 10.15 Building a museum rooted in social and humanitarian values
    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
    Dr Thierry L’Étang, Memorial ACTe, Caribbean Centre for the Expression and Memory of African Slave Trade and Slavery, Guadeloupe, France, CoE prize winner 2017
    Moderator: Jette Sandahl, Chair, European Museum Forum
  • 10.15 EMF and EMYA 2018
    Introduction by Jose Gameiro, Chair of EMYA 2018 Judging Panel

Bettina Museum of Wooden Shipbuilding, Croatia
Museum Hauskultur Toggenburg, Switzerland
Vucedol Culture Museum, Croatia

Moderator: Marco Biscione, EMYA Judge

  • 11.15-11.45 COFFEE BREAK

National Gallery of Ireland
Azerbaijan Carpet Museum
National Art Gallery of Latvia
Estonian National Museum

Moderator: Hans-Martin Hinz, EMYA Judge

  • 12.45-13.45 LUNCH 

Mary Rose Museum, United Kingdom
Almasy Castle Visitor Centre in Gyula Hungary
St Gallen Nature Museum, Switzerland

Moderator: Linda Mol, EMYA Judge

  • 14.30-15.30 PANEL 4: RESEARCH ON DISPLAY

Museo Egizio di Torino, Italy
National Archaeological Museum of Altamura, Italy
University Museum of Navarra, Spain
The Shipwreck Conservation Centre – a branch of the National Maritime Museum in Gdansk, Poland

Moderator: Christophe Dufour, EMYA Judge

  • 15.30-16.00 COFFEE BREAK
  • 16.00-16.45 PANEL 5: MUSEUMS AND BIG IDEAS

Mathematics Gallery, Science Museum, United Kingdom
Alimentarium Food Museum, Switzerland
Money Museum of the Deutsche Bundesdbank, Germany

Moderator: Metka Fujs, EMYA Judge

  • 16.45-17.30 PANEL 6: CITY MUSEUMS

Helsinki City Museum, Finland
Centraal Museum Utrecht, the Netherlands
Vapriikki Museum Centre, Finland

Moderator: Marlen Mouliou, EMYA Judge

  • 18.30 Bus transfer to Reception
  • 19.00-21.00 Reception at The Royal Łazienki Museum
    Zbigniew Wawer, Director, The Royal Łazienki Museum

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, UKREFLECTION AND RENEWAL - EMYA in a Changing Europe
    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


War Childhood Museum, Bosnia & Herzegovina
The Lenin Museum, Finland
Museum of Silesian Uprisings in Świętochłowice, Poland
Hospital in the Rock, Nuclear Bunker Museum, Hungary

Moderator: Dina Sorokina, EMYA Judge

  • 11.00-11.30 COFFEE BREAK
  • 11.30-12.15 PANEL 8: TRANSPORT MUSEUMS

National Coach Museum, Portugal
Riga Transport Museum, Latvia
National Railway Museum, Portugal

Moderator: Kimmo Antila, EMYA Judge


Archaeological Museum of Thebes, Greece
Lascaux IV, International Centre for Cave Art, France
Diachronic Museum of Larissa, Greece

Moderator: Karmele Barandiaran, EMYA Judge

  • 13.00-14-00 LUNCH

The House of Jevrem Grujić, Serbia
Rainis and Aspazija’s Museum, Latvia
Vassily Polenov Fine Arts Museum National Park, Russia

Moderator: Mark O’Neill, EMYA Judge


Valais Art Museum, Switzerland
Design Museum, United Kingdom
Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, Santa Maria del Fiore, Italy

Moderator: Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, EMYA Judge

  • 15.30-16.00 COFFEE BREAK

Museum of Russian Impressionism
Carmen Thyssen Museum Andorra
Erimtan Museum of Archaeology and Art, Turkey
EPIC, Irish Emigration Museum, Ireland

Moderator: Mark O’Neill, EMYA Judge

  • 18.30 Buses transfer to Reception
  • 19.00-21.00 Reception at National Museum in Warsaw
    Agnieszka Morawińska, Director, National Museum in Warsaw
    M. Cristina Vannini, Trustee, EMF

Day 4
Saturday 12.05.2018

POLIN  Museum of the History of Polish Jews

  • 9.00 - 9.20 Keynote address
    Moderator Vesna Marjanovic, Trustee, EMF
    ‘The Council of Europe Core Values in the Heart of European Museums'
    Adele Gambaro, Italian MP, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Rapporteur for the Council of Europe Museum Prize 2018

  • 9.20-10.30 Formal Presentation of Certificates
    Jose Gameiro, Chair of EMYA 2018 Judging Panel
    Jouetta van der Ploeg, Trustee, EMF
    Sara Minotti, EMF Administrator

  • 10.30-11.00 COFFEE BREAK

  • 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.

Workshop 1: POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews
Professor Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, Professor Dariusz Stola, Museum Director, Karolina Sakowicz, Head of Public Programs Department, Łucja Koch, Head of Education Department, Katarzyna Krauze, Head of Marketing Department
How to make a museum? What is the story the Museum should tell? How should the Museum tell that story? How to engage the audience? During the workshop we are going to take participants behind the scenes of the inside story of POLIN museum project. Key staff will share their experience how to overcome crucial museum challenges.
What is the story the Museum should tell? How should the Museum tell that story? – Core Exhibition development
How does public-private partnership work? How to work with different stake holders?
How to build consensus and not compromise around the museum? PR activities and role of Museum Council
How to engage the audience into museum activities, especially the museum’s neighbours? How to create a museum program without a museum building?
How to build credibility and wild reach of education offer among school?
Who is the Museum for? (Audience development)
Questions session

Workshop 2: MEG, Ethnographic Museum, Geneva
Boris Wastiau, Director
Since its reopening in 2014, the new MEG has aimed to adopt three main core values – openness, excellence and audacity – which provide a framework that set up an ambitious, yet realistic, range of services, cultural and scientific programs. The MEGs commitment to these values is reflected, among others, in the new standards of hospitality the MEG is setting up, in its scientific research and through the conservation of a public cultural heritage. It is also reflected in a detailed knowledge of the needs of target populations by a policy of solidarity and by the implementation of actions which embrace all visitors and partnerships for the long term. In this workshop, Boris Wastiau, director of the MEG, will discuss how the MEG succeeded the transformation of an idea into reality.

Workshop 3: War Childhood Museum, Sarajevo
Amina Krvavac, Executive Director
The War Childhood Museum (WCM) is the world’s first museum to focus exclusively on wartime childhood. The Museum’s growing collection contains thousands of personal items and accompanying stories and over hundred hours of oral history interviews of survivors narrating their wartime childhood experiences.
The WCM’s workshop will consist of two sessions, as follows: (1) Presentation on creation of the Museum and its rapid development into a multidisciplinary institution (2) Broader discussion on approaches to child-protection policies and practices in museums.

Workshop 4: Muzeum Śląskie in Katowice
Alicja Knast, Director

The Museum’s environment and ways of using it for the institution’s development
Museums are expected to be relevant, up-to-date and meaningful for the society, hence their activities have to be to some extent synchronized with the external world. Caring about collections and being up-to-date with the environment relate to the past and the present respectively, so it is difficult to combine them with coherent activities. The workshop will provide an overview of processes in which museums are, voluntarily or involuntarily, one of the agents as well as methods of using the external environment to carry out its own strategy

Workshop 5: European Solidarity Centre
Basil Kerski, ECS director and Jacek Kołtan, ECS deputy director

The themes of the workshop will be:
Challenge at the Core of the Origin of ECS.
The act of construction of the ECS building was the moment when the idea and the main message finally took shape. It was the intellectual mission impossible that became real/came into existence. This is also the constant challenge of building the remembrance that is both alive and contradictory.
Preserving the Symbol.
Creation of the ECS serves the crucial purpose of rescuing the authentic historic site of the Gdańsk Shipyard, a place deeply relevant not only to the Polish historical remembrance.
European Identity
What are the milestones of our common identity that we, the museums of Europe, refer to? How do we define them? Are we trying to preserve the common foundations to work on them in the future or are we just promoting a closed chapter of history?
Unpopular Experience
The most important challenge of our civilization is to overcome the popular approach that closes us in the local/national narrations and to combine the familiarity of local narrations with wider perspective.

Workshop 6: The Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester
Esme Ward, formerly the Whitworth, now director of the Manchester Museum
Esme will chart the transformation of the Whitworth, exploring how they embraced their founding mission to be “for the perpetual gratification of the people of Manchester” and how they have changed how galleries do their work, beyond their walls. This will include exploring some of its most bold and challenging work with people across the city during the gallery’s closure, when Whitworth and its collections and staff were taken out into the city. From pop-ups to pub-crawls and residencies, the Whitworth connected to existing audiences and sought new ones. She will explore how to work imaginative and collaboratively with other sectors and how this has formed part of the strategic vision at the Whitworth in difficult economic times (the includes creating the world’s first ever Cultural Park Keeper, interdisciplinary research programmes and a wide range of award-winning Arts and Health and Ageing partnerships and programmes).
In considering what sorts of collaborations could work at the Whitworth and how to create programmes that take creative risks, she will reflect on how work with communities is increasingly central to the organisation’s creative and artistic mission. How might we connect to and develop ambitious work with neighbouring communities experiencing some of the city’s highest levels of deprivation and unemployment? How to be both an international and a local gallery?

  • Afternoon: Free time
  • 19.00-23.00 Award Ceremony
    • Welcome drinks reception/appetizers
    • Ceremony
    • Press Conference
    • Gala Dinner