Editions / Winners /

EMYA has proved to be the longest running and most prestigious museum award in Europe and provides an important platform for benchmarking, networking, exchange of reflections, experience and skills across the wider continent of Europe.

The annual EMYA competition has been ongoing and continuous since 1977. It is estimated that more than 1900 museums have been candidates for the scheme and visited by EMYA judges, and that around 400 awards have been given to museums in 36 countries.

An average of around 45 museums apply each year, from across the 46 CoE member countries, with winners distributed across museums of all types, scales, disciplines and locations. 2020 set the record with 61 candidates.

Museum candidates are either new museums, first opened to the public within the past three years, or established museums that have renewed their organization and completed a substantial programme of modernization and extension of their buildings and galleries.

Over the years the EMYA scheme has developed into a series of different awards, each with their own specific profile.

The European Museum of the Year Award

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The European Museum of the Year Award

As the museum sectors expand across Europe, and as the value and meaning of culture for citizenship, political empowerment and general wellbeing are increasingly recognized, the quality of each museum and its contributions to its society and communities becomes correspondingly significant. The European Museum of the Year Award has been given out every year since 1977, and represents the best in innovation and excellence, in new or redeveloped museums, across disciplines and scale, funding and obligations, and across the various cultural contexts of Europe.

The EMYA goes to a museum which contributes profoundly to our understanding of the world as well as to the development of new paradigms and professional standards in museums. Within a distinctive overall atmosphere, the winning museum shows creative and imaginative approaches to the production of knowledge, to interpretation, presentation and social responsibility - all from a transparent base of core values of democracy, human rights, and inter-cultural dialogue, a commitment to sustainability, a practice of inclusion and community participation, and a recognition of conflicts and the courage needed to confront them.

Winners

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2024 - Sámi Museum Siida, Inari, Finland

Sámi Museum Siida
For more information:
Winners’ Brochure 2024

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2023 - L'Etno, Valencian Museum of Ethnology (Valencia, Spain)

Permanent exhibition “Not Easy to be Valencian”. The City: Global and Local. Tower of electrical appliances. Author: Hector Juan © L’ETNO

For more information:
https://letno.dival.es/ca
EMYA2023 Winners Brochure

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2022 - Museum of the Mind | Dolhuys (Haarlem, Netherlands)

Museum of the Mind, EMYA2022 Winner, Haarlem, Netherlands
For more information:
EMYA2022 Winners Brochure

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2021 - Naturalis Biodiversity Center (Leiden, Netherlands)

Naturalis Biodiversity Center, EMYA2021 Winner © Neutelings Riedijk Architects
Read more

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2020 - Stapferhaus (Lenzburg, Switzerland)

© Stapferhaus / Oliver Lang
Stapferhaus, EMYA2020 Winner, is a house for everyone: young and old, those on the right and on the left, experts and laypeople – men and women, and everyone in between and beyond.

Read more: COMING SOON

Symbolical steel poles. Forest of steel poles brings to mind Siberian taiga or anonymous lost lives.

The Council of Europe Museum Prize

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The Council of Europe Museum Prize

Within the rich economic, social and cultural diversity of its 46 member states, the Council of Europe focuses on safeguarding and promoting human rights, democracy and the rule of law. The Council of Europe Museum Prize has been awarded annually since 1977, by the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, based on the recommendations of the EMYA jury.

The Council of Europe Museum Prize is awarded to a museum that has contributed significantly to upholding human rights and democratic citizenship, to broadening knowledge and understanding of contemporary societal issues, and to bridging cultures by encouraging inter-cultural dialogue or overcoming social and political borders. The Prize aims to highlight Europe’s diverse cultural heritage and the interplay between local and European identities.

Winners

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2024 - Sybir Memorial Museum (Białystok, Poland)

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2023 - The Workers Museum (Copenhagen, Denmark)

© The Workers Museum / Photo by Søren Hytting
The Workers Museum, 2023 Winner of the Council of Europe Museum Prize
Assembly hall: The main assembly hall is the heart of the Workers' Assembly building from 1879 and is now completely renovated.

For more information:
www.arbejdermuseet.dk/en/
EMYA2023 Winners Brochure
read more

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2022 - Nano Nagle Place (Cork, Ireland)

Nano Nagle Place, 2022 Winner of the Council of Europe Museum Prize.

For more information:
www.nanonagleplace.ie/

Curator Ihor Poshyvailo holds the ceramic cockerel that has become a symbol of Ukrainian resistance.

The Kenneth Hudson Award for Institutional Courage and Professional Integrity

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The Kenneth Hudson Award for Institutional Courage and Professional Integrity

As societies are increasingly openly conflicted, politicized and polarized, the obligations grow correspondingly for museums to challenge established truths and mainstream positions, to defy power, to insist on accountability, and take transparent and ethical stands - not least pertaining to issues of social justice - that give space for or voice to contested and silenced stories.

The Kenneth Hudson Award for Institutional Courage and Professional Integrity is named in honour of the irreverent and critical perspective of Kenneth Hudson, the founder of EMYA, and is given by the European Museum Forum board to a museum, a group or an individual – not necessarily an EMYA candidate - to celebrate courageous, at times controversial, museum practices that challenge and expand common perceptions of the role and responsibilities of museums in society.

Winners

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2024 - Ihor Poshyvailo, Director General of the National Memorial to the Heavenly Hundred Heroes and Revolution of Dignity Museum (Maidan Museum), Ukraine

Curator Ihor Poshyvailo holds the ceramic cockerel that has become a symbol of Ukrainian resistance.
Photograph: Maidanmuseum.org
For more information:
Winners’ Brochure 2024

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2023 - 23,5 Hrant Dink Site of Memory (Istanbul, Türkiye)

“Salt and Light” installation created by Sarkis based on the metaphor of “creating diamonds from pain” © 23,5 Hrant Dink Site of Memory
For more information:
hrantdink.org/en/site-of-memory
emya2023winners.europeanforum.museum

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2022 - Wayne Modest, Nanette Snoep, Laura van Broekhoven and Léontine Meijer-van Mensch

© Estonian National Museum
The Kenneth Hudson Award 2022 is given jointly to four individuals, who as scholars and as museum directors actively contribute towards developing a new, global ethics for museums. With a good deal of personal courage, they have welcomed these highly contested and politicized questions and embedded them solidly in their museum practices, giving space for and voice to points of view that have been continuously and systematically denied. The European Museum Forum is of course aware that behind, beside and with these four individuals stand a multitude of others, not least in other continents and in the diasporic communities in Europe, but also in other European museums. So let the bestowal of this Kenneth Hudson Award be symbolic and emblematic.

For more information:
emya2022winners.europeanforum.museum

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2021 - CosmoCaixa (Barcelona, Spain)

Museum Architecture © CosmoCaixa
Read more

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2020 - House of Austrian History (Vienna, Austria)

© Klaus Pichler
Visual and acoustic voices in four languages at the beginning of the museum’s main exhibition.

For more information:
hdgoe.at
link to the dedicated news coming soon

Kalamaja Museum.

The Silletto Prize for Community Participation and Engagement

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The Silletto Prize for Community Participation and Engagement

As the quest for democratic involvement and cultural participation increases in society at large, the obligations grow correspondingly for museums to meet the growing needs and expectations of their communities for direct involvement in all aspects of the museum’s planning, development, management and execution of everyday activities and special projects.

The Silletto Prize for Community Participation and Engagement is sponsored by the Silletto Trust and celebrates a deep, continuous and empowering involvement between a museum and its stakeholders, that places the museum as a point of orientation and reference at the centre of its communities, whether these be local, national, global or otherwise defined.

Winners

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2024 - Kalamaja Museum (Tallinn, Estonia)

Kalamaja Museum.
Copyright: Meeli Küttim Tallinn City Museum
For more information:
Winners’ Brochure 2024

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2023 - Otar Lordkipanidze Vani Archaeological Museum of Georgian National Museum (Vani, Georgia)

Vani Archaeological Museum, Photo: Annie Davarashvili © Georgian National Museum
Otar Lordkipanidze Vani Archaeological Museum of Georgian National Museum, Georgia - The Winner of the Silletto Prize for Community Participation and Engagement 2023.

For more information:
museum.ge
emya2023winners.europeanforum.museum

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2022 - Museum of Footwear Industry (Inca, Spain)

Museum of Footwear Industry, Inca, Spain, 2022 Winner of the Silletto Prize for Community Participation and Engagement.

For more information:
incaturistica.es

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2021 - Kenan Yavuz Ethnography Museum (Bayburt, Turkey)

The Library © Kenan Yavuz Ethnography Museum
For more information:
kenanyavuzetnografyamuzesi.org/en/

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2020 - 14 Henrietta Street (Dublin, Ireland)

Front Door of 14 Henrietta Street © 14 Henrietta Street
For more information:
14henriettastreet.ie

Salt workers. Traditional harvesting of salt.

The Portimão Museum Prize for Welcoming, Inclusion and Belonging

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The Portimão Museum Prize for Welcoming, Inclusion and Belonging

As all areas of the world grow increasingly interdependent and intertwined, and as Europe and the individual nations and regions within Europe grow increasingly diverse, the obligations increase correspondingly for museums to include and welcome all visitors, across class, gender, race, ethnicity, age, education or other differences in background.

Introduced for the first time in 2019, the Portimão Museum Prize for Welcoming, Inclusion and Belonging is sponsored by the Municipality of Portimão and celebrates a friendly atmosphere of inclusion, where all elements of the museum, its physical environment, its human qualities, its displays and public programmes, contribute to making everyone feel they are valued and respected and belong in the museum. 

Winners

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2024 - Salt Museum (Messolonghi, Greece)

Salt workers. Traditional harvesting of salt.
Photorapher-Dimitra Karetsou. Copyright-Diexodos
For more information:
Winners’ Brochure 2024

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2023 - Chillida Leku (Hernani, Spain)

Photo credit: General view of the museum with Arco de la Libertad (Arch of Freedom) in the background. Courtesy of the Estate of Eduardo Chillida and Hauser & Wirth. © Zabalaga Leku. San Sebastian, VEGAP, 2022. Photo: Mikel Chillida
For more information:
museochillidaleku.com
emya2023winners.europeanforum.museum

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2022 - The University Museum of Bergen – Natural History (Bergen, Norway)

The University Museum of Bergen – Natural History, the 2022 Winner of the Portimão Museum Prize for Welcoming, Inclusion and Belonging.

For more information:
universitetsmuseet.no/nb
emya2022winners.europeanforum.museum

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2021 - Gruuthusemuseum (Brugge, Belgium)

Visitors at Gruuthusemuseum © Gruuthusemuseum
For more information:
museabrugge.be
Read more

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2020 - MO Museum (Vilnius, Lithuania)

MO Museum © MO Museum
For more information:
www.mo.lt/en
dedicated page coming soon

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2019 - Brunel’s SS Great Britain (Bristol, United Kingdom)

© Brunel's SS Great Britain
The museum’s core values are surprise, authenticity, fascination, excellence, and relevance. These are expressed in every aspect of its work, most notably in the quality of welcome provided to visitors by its highly trained and enthusiastic staff and volunteers.

For more information:
ssgreatbritain.org

The Meyvaert Museum Prize for Environmental Sustainability

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The Meyvaert Museum Prize for Environmental Sustainability

As the gravity of climate change and the destruction of nature continues apace and the wide-ranging implications are more directly experienced in people’s everyday lives, the obligations increase correspondingly for museums to reflect and address these urgent issues and contribute to safeguarding the future for coming generations.

The Meyvaert Museum Prize for Environmental Sustainability is sponsored by Meyvaert and goes to a museum which shows an exceptional commitment to reflecting and addressing issues of sustainability and environmental health in its collecting, documentation, displays and public programming as well as in the management of its own social, financial and physical resources.

Prior to 2020, before being introduced as an award, it was given as a Special Commendation for sustainability. 

Winners

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2024 - Museum of the Home (London, United Kingdom)

Family Friendly - Half term activities in Museum Garden.
Copyright: The Museum of the Home
For more information:
Winners’ Brochure 2024

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2023 - Swiss Museum of Agriculture (Burgrain, Switzerland)

© Swiss Museum of Agriculture Burgrain
The Swiss Museum of Agriculture vividly show the interconnections between what's on your plate, national and international agriculture, and the impact on farmers around the world.

For more information:
museumburgrain.ch
emya2023winners.europeanforum.museum

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2022 - Holmegaard Værk (Fensmark, Denmark)

Holmegaard Værk, Fensmark, Denmark, the 2022 Winner of the Meyvaert Museum Prize for Sustainability.

For more information:
museerne.dk/holmegaard-vaerk
emya2022winners.europeanforum.museum

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2021 - Museum Walserhaus (Bosco Gurin, Switzerland)

© Museum Walserhaus
For more information:
walserhaus.ch/de/

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2020 - The Wadden Sea Centre (Ribe, Denmark)

Museum Architecture © The Wadden Sea Centre
For more information:
vadehavscentret.dk/en/frontpage

Special Commendations

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Special Commendations

Special Commendations are given to museums that have developed a new and innovative aspect of their public service and from which other European museums can learn.

2024, PORTIMAO

ZOOM Children's Museum, Vienna, Austria
Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp (KMSKA), Antwerp, Belgium
Memorial of 1902 I Frank A. Perret Museum, Martinique, France
National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo, Norway
Museum and Memorial in Sobibór. German Nazi Extermination Camp (1942-1943), Department of the State Museum at Majdanek, Włodawa, Poland
Museum of Making, Derby, United Kingdom

For more information: Winners’ Brochure 2024

2023, BARCELONA

Thackray Museum of Medicine, United Kingdom
Ilia Chavchavadze Literary Memorial Museum. Museum of the Tbilisi Museums Union, Georgia
Graz Museum Schlossberg, Austria
FeliXart Museum, Belgium
Abbey Church of Payerne, Switzerland
Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen, Netherlands

For more information: EMYA2023 Winners Brochure

2022, TARTU, ESTONIA

Ghent University Museum, Belgium
Experimenta, Germany
Sigismondo Castromediano Museum, Italy
Nicolaus Copernicus House, Poland
Nordiska museet, Sweden
Swiss Museum of the Blind, Switzerland
The Box, Plymouth, United Kingdom

For more information: EMYA2022 Winners Brochure 

2021, ONLINE AWARD CEREMONY - HOSTED BY THE YELTSIN CENTRE, RUSSIAN REPUBLIC 

Women's Museum Hittisau, Austria
Haapsalu and Läänemaa Museums, Estonia
Futurium, Germany
Danube Museum, Hungary
Museum of Krakow - Thesaurus Cracoviensis, Poland
OMM - Odunpazari Modern Museum, Turkey

2020, ONLINE AWARD CEREMONY - HOSTED BY THE YELTSIN CENTRE, RUSSIAN REPUBLIC 

Museum Hof van Busleyden, Belgium
M9 - Museum of the 20th Century, Italy
Tropenmuseum, Netherlands
Museum of Archaeological Wood “Tatar Settlement", Russian Republic
Uchma Museum, Uchma Museum
Museum of Troy, Turkey
National Museum of Scotland, United Kingdom

2019, SARAJEVO, BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

World Nature Forum. Switzerland (Special Commendation for Sustainability)
Museum of Apoxyomenos, Croatia
House of European History, Belgium
Museum Plantin-Moretus, Belgium
Moesgaard Museum, Denmark
Verdun Memorial, France
The National Museum in Szczecin – The Dialogue Centre Upheavals, Poland
Pan Tadeusz Museum, Poland

2018, WARSAW, POLAND

Vapriikki Museum Centre, Tampere, Finland (Special Commendation for Sustainability)
Lascaux IV- International Centre For Cave Art, Dordogne, France
Helsinki City Museum, Helsinki, Finland
Rainis and Aspazija’s Museum, Riga, Jurmala and Dunava, Latvia
Museo dell’ Opera del Duomo, Florence, Italy
Museum University Of Navarra, Pamplona, SpainYork Art Gallery, York, United Kingdom
Museo Egizio, Turin, Italy

2017, ZAGREB, CROATIA

Visitor Centre of the Swiss Ornithological Institute Sempach, Switzerland (Special Commendation for Sustainability)
The Old Town. National Open-Air Museum of Urban History and Culture, Aarhus, Denmark
Museum of Confluences, Lyon, France
Heraklion Archaeological Museum, Heraklion, Greece
Muzeum Śląskie, Katowice, Poland
York Art Gallery, York, United Kingdom

2016, TOLOSA AND SAN SEBASTIAN, SPAIN

Museum of Bibracte, Mont Beuvray, France (Special Commendation for Sustainability)
The Archaeological Museum of Tegea, Tegea, Greece
BZ ´18–´45.One Monument, One City, Two Dictatorships: permanent exhibition within the Monument to Victory, Bolzano, Italy
National Military Museum, Soest, The Netherlands
The Information Age Galleries, The Science Museum, London, United Kingdom
The Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, United Kingdom

2015, GLASGOW, UNITED KINGDOM

The Finnish Nature Centre Haltia, Haltia, Finland (Special Commendation for Sustainability)
Red Star Line Museum, Antwerp, Belgium
MUSE: Museo delle Scienze (Science Museum), Trento, Italy
Mary Rose Museum, Portsmouth, UK
Vorarlberg Museum, Vorarlberg, Austria

2014, TALLINN, ESTONIA

Lennusadam, Estonian Maritime Museum, Tallinn, Estonia
Bildmuseet, Umeå, Sweden
Museo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología, A Coruña, Spain
Museo Occidens / Catedral de Pamplona, Spain
Kazerne Dossin – Memorial, Museum and Documentation Centre on Holocaust and Human Rights, Mechelen, Belgium
Flossenbürg Concentration Camp Memorial, Germany

2013, TONGEREN, BELGIUM

Gobustan National Historical Artistic Preserve, Garadakh district, Azerbaijan
Art Museum Riga Bourse, Riga, Latvia
The National Maritime Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands
San Telmo Museum, San Telmo, Spain

2012, PENAFIEL, PORTUGAL

Audax Textielmuseum, Tilburg, The Netherlands
The Museum of a Disappeared Taste – Kolomna Pastilla, Kolomna, Russia
The Museum of Prijepolje, Serbia
The People’s History Museum in Manchester, UK

2011, BREMERHAVEN, GERMANY

The British Music Experience, London, United Kingdom
Douro Museum, Peso da Regua, Portugal
Museum of the Artist and Story-Teller Stepan Pisakhov, Arkhangelsk, Russia
Museo Memoria de Andalucia, Granada, Spain
Schiller National Museum, Marbach, Germany
Tampere 1918 – Museum of the Finnish Civil War, Tampere, Finland

2010, TAMPERE, FINLAND

Museum of Natural Sciences, Brussels, Belgium
The Science Gallery, Dublin, Ireland
Jewish Historical Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Micheletti Award
Agbar Water Museum, Cornellà de Llobregat, Spain

2009, BURSA, TURKEY

Archaeological Centre of Almoina, Valencia, Spain
Museum of Life Stories, Speicher, Switzerland
Museum of Modern Art, Istanbul, Turkey

Micheletti Award
Museum of the Jaeren Region, Naerbø, Norway

2008, DUBLIN, IRELAND

Catharijneconvent Museum, Utrecht, Netherlands
Museum of Almeria, Almeria, Spain
Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum, London, United Kingdom

Micheletti Award
University Science Museum, Coimbra, Portugal

2007, ALICANTE, SPAIN

Museum of the Bresse Region, Saint-Cyr-sur-Menthon, France
The Dolhuys: Museum of Psychiatry, Haarlem, Netherlands
The Railway Museum, Utrecht, Netherlands
Paul Klee Centre, Bern, Switzerland

Micheletti Award
Brunel’s ss Great Britain, Bristol, United Kingdom

2006, LISBON, PORTUGAL

inatura - The Natural History Adventure Experience in Dornbirn, Austria
ARoS Denmark, Aarhus, Denmark
National Museum of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland

Micheletti Award
Tom Tits Experiment, Södertälje, Sweden

2005, BRUSSELS, BELGIUM

Saxony Museum of Industry, Chemnitz, Germany
Fishing Museum, Palamos, Spain
Mölndal Museum, Mölndal, Sweden

Micheletti Award
City of Science, Naples, Italy

2004, KIFISSIA, GREECE

La Piscine – André Diligent Museum of Art and Industry, Roubaix, France
House of Terror, Budapest, Hungary
Imperial War Museum North, Manchester, United Kingdom

Micheletti Award
Herring Era Museum, Siglufjordur, Iceland

2003, COPENHAGEN, DENMARK

Kierikki Stone Age Centre, Yli-Ii, Finland
The Goulandris Natural History Museum – Gaia Centre for Environmental Research and Education, Kifissia, Greece
Danube Museum – The Hungarian Museum of Water Administration, Esztergom, Hungary
National Museum of Antiquities, Leiden, Netherlands
CosmoCaixa, Alcobendas (Madrid), Spain
Imperial War Museum – Holocaust Exhibition, London, United Kingdom

Micheletti Award
Industrial Museum of Clockmaking, Villingen-Schwenningen, Germany

2002, CITY OF LUXEMBOURG

National Museum of History, Sofia, Bulgaria
City Museum – Street Museum,  Helsinki, Finland
Levi Strauss Museum ‘Jeans & Kult’, Buttenheim, Germany
Waterford Treasures Museum, Waterford, Ireland
Permafrost Museum, Igarka, Russia
Museum of Kyburg Castle, Kyburg, Switzerland
STEAM: Museum of the Great Western Railway, Swindon, United Kingdom

Micheletti Award
Ceramics Museum of Sacavém, Portugal

2001, PISA, ITALY

Farmhouse Museum, Bielefeld, Germany
Museum of the City and the District, Monsummano Terme, Italy
Zaans Museum, Koog aan de Zaan, Netherlands
Coal Mining Museum of Slovenia, Velenje, Slovenia
Härjedalen Mountain Museum, Funäsdalen, Sweden
National Museum of Photography, Film & Television, Bradford, United Kingdom

Micheletti Award
English Mill’s Cork Museum, Silves, Portugal

2000, BONN, GERMANY

Siida – Sámi Museum & Northern Lapland Nature Centre, Inari, Finland
National Socialist Documentation Centre of the City of Cologne, Germany
Museum of Reconstruction, Hammerfest, Norway
Visionarium, Santa Maria da Feira, Portugal
Museum Estate of L. Tolstoy, Yasnaya Polyana, Russia
Silver Museum, Arjeplog, Sweden
Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Micheletti Award
Industrion, Kerkrade, Netherlands

1999, LJUBLJANA, SLOVENIA

Otto Lilienthal Museum, Anklam, Germany
Amedeo Lia Municipal Museum, La Spezia, Italy
Museum De Stadshof, Zwolle, Netherlands
Murska Sobota Regional Museum, Murska Sobota, Slovenia
Vitlycke Museum, Tanumshede, Sweden
Museum of Prehistory, Zug, Switzerland
Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow, United Kingdom
Maritime Museum of Jersey, United Kingdom

Micheletti Award
Verdant Works, Dundee, United Kingdom

1998, SAMOS, GREECE

Zeppelin Museum, Friedrichshafen, Germany
Neanderthal Museum, Mettmann, Germany
Heinz Nixdorf MuseumsForum, Paderborn, Germany
Hungarian Natural History Museum, Budapest, Hungary
Museum of the History of the City of Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Michel Giacometti Museum of Work, Setúbal, Portugal
Vladimir & Suzdal Museum of History, Art and Architecture, Vladimir, Russia
Buckinghamshire County Museum, Aylesbury, United Kingdom

Micheletti Award
Ecomuseum Bergslagen, Smedjebacken, Sweden

1997, LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND

Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova, Turku, Finland
Historical Museum, Bielefeld, Germany
Lower Bavarian Museum of Prehistory, Landau, Germany
Historical and Ethnological Museum of Greek-Cappadocian Civilisations, Nea Karvali, Greece
Bonnefanten Museum, Maastricht, Netherlands
Old Royal Observatory, London, United Kingdom

Micheletti Award
Municipal Museum, Idrija, Slovenia

1996, BARCELONA, SPAIN

Museum of the Práchenské Region, Písek, Czech Republic
Lusto - Finnish Forest Museum, Punkaharju, Finland
Countryside Museum, Usson-en-Forez, France
German Safety at Work Exhibition, Dortmund, Germany
Turaida Museum, Turaida, Latvia
Groningen Museum, Groningen, Netherlands
Chiado Museum, Lisbon, Portugal
Gijón Heritage Project, Gijón, Spain
Glassworks Museum, Hergiswil, Switzerland
Museum of Liverpool Life, Liverpool, United Kingdom

Micheletti Award
German Safety at Work Exhibition, Dortmund, Germany

1995, VÄSTERÅS, SWEDEN

Museum of Traditional Local Culture, Spittal/Drau, Austria
Lapidarium of the National Museum, Prague, Czech Republic
City Museum, Helsinki, Finland
Westphalian Industrial Museum, Waltrop, Germany
Morandi Museum, Bologna, Italy
County Museum of Västernorrland, Härnösand, Sweden
Lindwurm Museum, Stein am Rhein, Switzerland
Museum of Underwater Archaeology, Bodrum, Turkey
City Art Gallery, Southampton, United Kingdom

1994, BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND

Historical Record of the Great War, Péronne, France
Museum of Modern Art, Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany
Museonder, Hoenderloo, Netherlands
Cotroceni National Museum, Bucharest, Romania
The Tower Museum, Derry, United Kingdom
Museum of Farnham, Farnham, United Kingdom

1993, GUIMARAES, PORTUGAL

State Archaeological Museum, Konstanz, Germany
King Stephen Museum, Székesfehérvár, Hungary
Museum of the Olive, Imperia Oneglia, Italy
Municipal Museum, Loures, Portugal
Basel Paper Mill, Basel, Switzerland
Manx Museum, Douglas, Isle of Man, United Kingdom

1992, LEIDEN, THE NETHERLANDS

National Museum of Asian, African and American Cultures, Prague, Czech Republic
Océanopolis, Brest, France
Museum of Cretan Ethnology, Vori, Greece
Vasa Museum, Stockholm, Sweden
Inveraray Jail, Inveraray, United Kingdom

1991, HELSINKI, FINLAND

Moorland and Peat Museum, Heidenreichstein, Austria
Dairy Museum, Saukkola, Finland
Museum of Automata, Souillac, France
The Old Synagogue, Essen, Germany
Coastal Museum, Gratangsbotn, Norway
Agricultural Museum of Entre Douro e Miño, Vila do Conde, Portugal
House of Wheat and Bread, Echallens, Switzerland
Natural History Museum, Schaffhausen, Switzerland
Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester, United Kingdom

1990, BOLOGNA, ITALY

Heureka - The Finnish Science Centre, Vantaa, Finland
German Cookery Book Museum, Dortmund, Germany
Municipal Museum, Gütersloh, Germany
Røros Museum, Røros, Norway
Marionette Museum, Stockholm, Sweden
National Museum of Photography, Film and Television, Bradford, United Kingdom
National Waterways Museum, Gloucester, United Kingdom

1989, BASEL, SWITZERLAND

Ecomuseum of Alsace, Ungersheim, France
Museum of Coaches, Carriages, Carts and Wagons, Heidenheim a.d. Brenz, Germany
Municipal Museum, Iserlohn, Germany
International Lace Museum, Nordhalben, Germany
Luigi Pecci Centre for Contemporary Art, Prato, Italy
National Museum of  Roman Art, Mérida, Spain
The Futures’ Museum, Borlänge, Sweden
Bergslagen Ecomuseum, Falun, Sweden
Swiss Museum of Games, La-Tour-de-Peilz, Switzerland
Dulwich Picture Gallery, London, United Kingdom
Brewing and Brewery Museum, Ljubljana, Yugoslavia

1988, DELPHI, GREECE

Provincial Museum of Modern Art, Ostend, Belgium
Aine Art Museum, Tornio, Finland
Museum of Aquitaine, Bordeaux, France
Normandy Museum, Caen, France
‘Tactual Museum’ of the Lighthouse for the Blind in Greece, Kallithea, Greece
Sa Dom’e Farra Museum, Quartu S. Elena, Italy
Museon, The Hague, Netherlands
Museum of Medieval Stockholm, Stockholm, Sweden
Maison Tavel, Geneva, Switzerland
Antalya Museum, Antalya, Turkey
Mary Rose Museum, Portsmouth, United Kingdom

1987, DURHAM, ENGLAND

Museum of Biometeorology, Zwettl, Austria
Waterloo Museum, Waterloo, Belgium
Museum of Prehistory, Carnac, France
Wallpaper Museum, Rixheim, France
Ruhr Museum, Essen, Germany
New State Gallery, Stuttgart, Germany
Museum of Cycladic and Ancient Greek Art, Athens, Greece
Sarakatsani Folklore Museum, Serres, Greece
Municipal Museum, Rende Centro, Italy
Akershus Museum, Strømmen, Norway
National Theatre Museum, Lisbon, Portugal
Forestry Museum, Lycksele, Sweden
Nature Museum, Lucerne, Switzerland
Alimentarium, Vevey, Switzerland
The Ruskin Gallery, Sheffield, United Kingdom

1984, ENKHUIZEN, THE NETHERLANDS

Paul Delvaux Museum, Saint-Idesbald, Belgium
David d’Angers Museum, Angers, France
Museum of Navigation, Regensburg, Germany
Museum of Early Industrialisation, Wuppertal, Germany
Fota House, Carrigtwohill, Ireland
Archaeological Museum, Chieti, Italy
Museum of Farming & Crafts of Calabria, Monterosso Calabro, Italy
Evaristo Valle Museum, Gijón, Spain
Museum of the Province of Bohuslän, Uddevalla, Sweden
Museum of the Horse, La Sarraz, Switzerland
Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art, Istanbul, Turkey
The Burrell Collection, Glasgow, United Kingdom
Quarry Bank Mill, Styal, United Kingdom

Note: For administrative reasons, the judging of candidates for the 1985 and 1986 Awards took place in 1986 and the presentations were made in 1987.  It was therefore decided to refer to these as the 1987 Awards.

1983, PARIS, FRANCE

Museum of Old Technology, Grimbergen, Belgium
Museum of Contemporary Art, Dunkirk, France
German Museum of Locks & Fastenings, Velbert, Germany
Roscrea Heritage Centre, Roscrea, Ireland
Museum of the Mediterranean, Stockholm, Sweden
Scottish Agricultural Museum, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Ulster Folk & Transport Museum, Belfast, United Kingdom
Museum of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom
Royal Marines Museum, Southsea, United Kingdom

1982, MILAN, ITALY

National Museum of Marble, Rance, Belgium
Archaeological Museum, Kelheim, Germany
Goulandris Natural History Museum, Kifissia, Greece
Palazzo Pepoli Campogrande, Bologna, Italy
Ringve Museum, Trondheim, Norway
Museum of Crafts and Maritime Culture, Lidköping, Sweden
Museum of Stained Glass, Romont, Switzerland
Technorama, Winterthur, Switzerland

Bank of Ireland Special Exhibitions Award Awarded jointly to:
The Yorkshire Museum, York, United Kingdom - The Vikings in England
The Guinness Museum, Dublin, Ireland - Wine of the country: a James’s Gape at Guinness and Dublin

Specially commended
Museum for the Blind, Brussels, Belgium - The Cathedral

1981, STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN

National Museum, Copenhagen, Denmark
Museum of Prehistory of the Ile-de-France, Nemours, France
Museum of Gardeners and Vinegrowers, Bamberg, Germany
Historical Museum, Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany
The Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, Italy
Museum of the Valley, Zogno, Italy
Ethnological Museum, Muro, Mallorca, Spain
Historical Museum, Olten, Switzerland
Natural History Museum, Solothurn, Switzerland
‘Hunday’, National Farm and Tractor Museum, Stocksfield, United Kingdom

Bank of Ireland Special Exhibitions Award
Northern Animal Park, Emmen, Netherlands - Flowers and colours; Locomotion

Specially commended
People’s Palace Museum, Glasgow, United Kingdom - Glasgow stained glass
Museum of Mankind, London, United Kingdom - Asante, kingdom of gold
Royal Armoury, Stockholm, Sweden - Royal leisure

1980, LONDON, ENGLAND

Sara Hildén Museum, Tampere, Finland
Museum of Art and History, Metz, France
PTT Museum, Riquewihr, France
State Museum of History and Art, Luxembourg
Norwegian Forestry Museum, Elverum, Norway
Museum of Spanish Abstract Art, Cuenca, Spain
Castle Museum, Hallwil, Switzerland
British Museum (Natural History), London, United Kingdom

Bank of Ireland Special Exhibitions Award
Museum of Ethnography and History, Povoa de Varzim, Portugal - Signs and symbols used by local fishermen

Specially commended
Viking Ship Museum, Roskilde, Denmark - Boats of Greenland
Children’s Workshop, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France - The sense of touch; Colour
Gallery of Modern Art, Milan, Italy - Illustrations of working-class life: Attilio Pusterla and the poor man’s eating place

1979, BRUSSELS, BELGIUM

Michel Thiery Natural History Museum, Ghent, Belgium
National Maritime Museum, Dun Laoghaire, Ireland
Museum of the Jewish Diaspora, Tel-Aviv, Israel
Museum of the Tropics, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Tromsø Museum, Tromsø, Norway
Royal Armoury, Stockholm, Sweden
Pierre Gianadda Foundation, Martigny, Switzerland
Guernsey Museum and Art Gallery, St Peter Port, United Kingdom

Bank of Ireland Special Exhibitions Award
Archaeological Museum, Thessaloniki, Greece - Treasures of Macedonia

Specially commended
Crédit Communal de Belgique, Brussels, Belgium - Brussels: Building and Rebuilding
Museum of Cultural History, Randers, Denmark - This is all about us; When the asphalt starts rolling; The vagabonds
Award for Creative Museum Management
Dr Alfred Waldis
Swiss Transport Museum, Lucerne, Switzerland

1978, AACHEN, GERMANY

Louisiana: Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, Denmark
Centre of Oceanography, Paris, France
Ecomuseum, Le Cresot, France
Bank of Ireland, Dublin, Ireland
International Museum of Ceramics, Faenza, Italy
National Museum of Costume, Lisbon, Portugal
National Travelling Exhibitions, Stockholm, Sweden
Museum of London, London, United Kingdom
Erddig Park, Wrexham, United Kingdom

1977, STRASBOURG, FRANCE

FN Museum of Industrial Archaeology, Herstal, Belgium
Technical Museum, Helsinki, Finland
Terra Amata Museum, Nice, France
Municipal Museum, Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany
Historical Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Preus Foto Museum, Horten, Norway
International Museum of Clocks and Watches, La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland

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To be a winner

To be a winner

Below you can read several testimonials about what it means to be an award winner and what this has led to.

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The Sámi Museum Siida, The European Museum of the Year 2024

Sámi Museum Siida, as an indigenous museum, is primarily for the Sámi people themselves. But we are extremely pleased to see how our Sámi story resonates with the entire European museum community and people around the world.

This award belongs to the entire Sámi community, its elders who have supported our work with their knowledge and skills, and the entire staff of the Sámi Museum for their heartfelt efforts. In Siida’s new main exhibition, the Sámi themselves tell their own story. Over 300 members of the Sámi community participated in the preparation of the exhibition on Sámi culture.

We want to thank also our ancestors for their strength, love and support.

We hope that this award gives us strength to continue our important repatriation work for our community. For this work, we need the support of the entire European museum community so that the artifacts of our ancestors return home to Sápmi.

We want to extend our warm congratulations for all the museums awarded at EMYA2024!

Giitu! Takkâ! Späʹsseb! Thank you!

Taina Pieski, Director & Taija Aikio, Head of Marketing, Sámi Museum Siida
Author: João Matos/CMP

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Kalamaja Museum, the winner of the Silletto Prize for Community Participation and Engagement 2024

The members of the Kalamaja Museum community are very proud and happy that their own museum has received such great recognition. It gives everybody strength and courage to go forward! The photos were taken in Kalamaja Museum during celebrations of the Silletto Prize.

Thank you again so much!

On behalf of Kalamaja Museum and its community members, friends, partners.

Kristi Paatsi
Kalamaja Museum

Kalamaja Museum during celebrations of the Silletto Prize
Kalamaja Museum

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Salt Museum, the winner of the Portimão Museum Prize for Welcoming, Inclusion and Belonging 2024

How can I convey our joy for the Portimao Award at the Salt Museum? Our entire city, Messolonghi, is celebrating with us! People stop us on the street, embrace us, call us, send messages, flowers, and sweets, all conveying their excitement and pride.

This award isn’t just for a museum; it’s for the residents of an entire city. Giannis Markakis, the national representative of EMF who discovered us, all the award nominees with their presentations, the EMYA judges, past winners, the organizing city of Portimao, and all participants have enriched our experience. They’ve guided us on a path of knowledge, continuous improvement, and contribution to society.

Participating in EMYA has been a wonderful journey!

Despina Kanelli
Manager of Salt Museum

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The Museum of the Home, the winner of the Meyvaert Museum Prize for Environmental Sustainability 2024

The Museum of the Home team takes huge inspiration from this award – which speaks to our collective hope for the future, as well as celebrating past achievements. This recognition has reaffirmed our dedication to this planet we call home, as we strive to live by the values that this prize embodies.

Huge thanks and gratitude to the EMYA24 judges and Meyvaert for their valued support – and congratulations to all the change-making nominees this year.

Museum of the Home Entrance
Hufton+Crow

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L'ETNO, Valencian Museum of Ethnology, The European Museum of the Year 2023

"Receiving the EMYA award is being a massive thing for L’ETNO, probably the best that has ever happened to our museum. Only a few days after the announcement, we are already feeling a big change. As a museum L’ETNO has always suffered from invisibility and some lack of understanding among our own people/authorities. It is somehow normal, we are not one of the region's big museums, and we work with a type of heritage -ethnographic- not too glamorous. What is happening after the prize is a revolution. Media attention is being massive, and, suddenly, there is a kind of sense of pride all around us. What seemed difficult, seems easy. The team, of course, is happier than ever. This is a game changing experience."

© David del Val, MUHBA

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The Workers Museum, the winner of the Council of Europe Museum Prize 2023

"Absolutely amazing and completely unreal! 

The Council of Europe Musem Prize 2023 confirms us in our effort to communicate the history of the labour movement in a way that strengthens democratic participation and motivates debate in the future of democracy. We are grateful to the Committee for Culture and the European Museum Forum for acknowledging our work and for raising awareness about the value of museums"

Søren Bak-Jensen
Museum Director

© CoE - PACE

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23.5 Hrant Dink Site of Memory, the winner of the Kenneth Hudson Award for Institutional Courage and Professional Integrity, 2023

"Thank you very much for acknowledging our work by honoring us with this meaningful and prestigious award. Each award is a celebration, however for us each award also represents a dilemma. We wish we lived in a world where we only built and created museums that would celebrate life, cherish diversity, co-existence, human rights, peace and acknowledge the courageous efforts of wonderful people while they were alive.

Remembering and dealing with the past is a sort of resistance and a different form of activism that sparks transformative change within communities. 23.5 acts as a space that encourages people to deal with the past while also functioning as a space for dialogue, communication and comprehension. Since January 19th 2007, which marks the day when Hrant Dink was killed, our hearts are wounded and we are trying to heal our wounds through our mission and work. 23.5 offers a unique life story - not every life story can be exhibited. But at the same time killing someone doesn’t mean that that person is dead. As Hrant Dink’s wife Rakel Dink said, each death is a journey to eternity and we are aware how his death produced thousands of seeds.

As Iranian poet Füruğ Ferruhzad said, the bird may die, keep the flight in mind. Hrant Dink’s flight is still continuing, through the work of the Hrant Dink Foundation, through the work of the 23.5 Hrant Dink Site of Memory. His vision and the values he endorsed are inspiring, encouraging many minds and many hearts.

This award is very meaningful as it has ‘courage’ in its name. Horatius once said Sapere Aude, which means “dare to know”, “be brave to know”. We should be courageous and be unafraid of the truth, because the more we are afraid of it, we know that the ghosts of the past will haunt us forever. We should not deny it.

We would like to express our thanks to our entire team at the Hrant Dink Foundation, our board members, advisory board members and our team members who worked very hard, day and night for the creation of our memory site despite all the challenges and despite all the difficulties. And most importantly I would like to thank Hrant Dink’s family for harnessing their incredible pain into power and into action."

Nayat Karakose
Program Coordinator, Hrant Dink Vakfı/ Hrant Dink Foundation

© David del Val, MUHBA

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Museo Chillida Leku, the winner of the Portimão Museum Prize for Welcoming, Inclusion and Belonging, 2023

Receiving the Portimão Museum Prize for Welcoming, Inclusion and Belonging at the European Museum of the Year Awards, EMYA 2023 has been very gratifying for the museum and a confirmation that we are on the right track with our social and educational programme, which fills us with joy. This award reaffirms our desire to be an inclusive museum for the community, an active meeting place where every visitor is at the centre, regardless of their age, origin or background. Chillida Leku is the space designed by Eduardo Chillida, and the artist's thought and work inspire us to make the museum a welcoming place, a refuge for the soul where we can feel good, comfortable and safe, surrounded by art and nature, but it is also a place for reflection, where through art, we can dream of new ways of inhabiting the world in which we live.

General view of the museum with Arco de la Libertad (Arch of Freedom) in the background. Courtesy of the Estate of Eduardo Chillida and Hauser & Wirth. © Zabalaga Leku. San Sebastian, VEGAP, 2022. Photo: Mikel Chillida

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Museum of the mind, the European Museum of the Year Award 2022

This European prize is of unprecedented value and an important recognition for our renovated museum. Based on personal stories, historical objects, art and science, we challenge you to look openly at your own mind and that of others. To belong and participate, regardless of how you feel, look or behave is the foundation of our new permanent exhibition. With this, we as a museum, want to contribute to an inclusive society.

Hans Looijen
Director

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Nano Nagle Place, the winner of the Council of Europe Museum Prize 2022

"We are so honoured to be awarded the Council of Europe Museum Prize 2022 for celebrating human rights, democracy, and intercultural dialogue. Our mission is to take Nano’s values of education and social justice into the twenty-first century. To be recognised at the vanguard of museum practice in our work across heritage and community development, particularly the Lantern Project and the Cork Migrant Centre, confirms our belief that museums really can change the world."

Shane Clarke
CEO of Nano Nagle Place

"Nano Nagle Place has given a new meaning to the concept of the museum. It uses Nano Nagle, a powerful figure from the past, reinterpreting her call for the 21st century to create meaningful change in the present. Nano Nagle’s core mission of outreach and education sits at the centre of the museum, in the form of Cork Migrant Centre and The Lantern Community Project, and that is what makes Nano Nagle Place a museum with a difference, making a difference."

Sr Julie Watson
Presentation Sisters Congregational Leader

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Naturalis Biodiversity Center, the European Museum of the Year Award 2021

It's great that our museum is internationally recognized through this prize. Thank you so much! Fascination for the beauty and diversity of nature, that is the foundation of Naturalis. Thanks to our museum, we can share our love and passion for nature with the public. If people embrace nature, they will also take better care of it. And that is now more necessary than ever!

Edwin van Huis
General Director

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Stapferhaus, the European Museum of the Year Award 2020

What an honour to have won the EMYA2020! Many thanks to the European Museum Forum and the EMYA jury for this important award. It honours the Stapferhaus, the changeable new building and our exhibition work. In our house the big questions of the present stand at the forefront, the constructive dialogue and thus the audience - old and young, conservative and progressive, experts and laymen. The prize thus also stands for all museums that are not afraid to take on social responsibility. We are looking forward to an exchange with them and the audience!

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Gulag History Museum, the winner of the Council of Europe Museum Prize 2021

On behalf of the GULAG History Museum team I would like to thank the Council of Europe for the prestigious prize. The recognition from international museum community encourages us to continue carrying out the mission that we have projected for our institution - telling the history of the mass repression and thus encouraging reflection on the value of human life.

It is with great sorrow we have all been following the news on how the pandemic has affected lives of millions of people. As we all know, many cultural institutions were forced to dismiss members of staff, sell valuable pieces from their collections and overall rethink their plans. So the prize of the Council of Europe is even more valuable for us in the time when we all have to collaborate and reinvent our role for the community.

Roman Romanov
Director of the GULAG History Museum (Moscow, Russia)

Gulag History Museum, 2021 Winner of the Council of Europe Museum Prize, Museum's expedition to the Butugychag Uranium camp (Magadan Oblast) in 2015

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CosmoCaixa, the winner of the Kenneth Hudson Prize 2021

Here at CosmoCaixa, we want to share just how overjoyed and grateful we are to have received the 2021 Kenneth Hudson Prize from the European Museum Forum, in recognition of our “ability to reinvent ourselves and our interminable contribution to society.” We will keep on working with the same enthusiasm to contribute towards bringing science close to people and building a better society. Thank you to everyone who helps make this possible!

Valentí Farràs
CosmoCaixa Director

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Kenan Yavuz Ethnography Museum, the winner of the silletto Prize 2021

We’ve started with telling the story of our family and now awarded by one of the most prestigious organisations in the world. We are incredibly happy and honoured!

Sincerity, authenticity and simplicity have been at our core, while always continuing to dig deeper into the cultural values of our region. Having won the Silletto Prize, we now will be able to strengthen our institutional structure and have greater support from the public. Our messages will be delivered more effectively and the impact we wish to make locally will be supported by this wonderful international recognition we’ve received.

We will work with all the previous winners of the Silletto Prize as well as its future winners to become solution partners and create synergy through initiating projects together. We will also make sure to grow our network with European museums.

We are looking forward to leveraging every opportunity and guidance that is provided by EMYA and EMF and make sure that we always embody and represent the award we have won at EMYA 2021 in the best ways possible.

Watch the video message from Kenan Yavuz Ethnography Museum

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Gruuthusemuseum, the winner of the Portimão Museum Prize 2021

We are very proud that the Gruuthusemuseum is The Winner of the Portimão Museum Prize 2021! It is an honour for the whole museum staff of Musea Brugge, for all the colleagues and the council of the city of Bruges. 

The museum's high-quality renovation has transformed it into a fully accessible heritage site which now feels like an open welcoming house, designed to serve the needs of all of its guests. We are happy the jury could appreciate this.

Musea Brugge would like to thank the European Museum Forum and the EMYA jury for for the prestigious prize. We will cherish the award, also as an inspiration for next projects. And we are looking forward to a further exchange of our experience with the museum world and our public. 

Welcome in Bruges!

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Museum Walserhaus Bosco Gurin, the winner of the Meyvaert Prize for sustainability 2021

To have won the Meyvaert Prize for Sustainability makes us very proud, and we are thankful to all the EMYA staff, judges and referees. The prize shows us that we are on the right track, it gives us the impetus to continue, it strengthens even more the feeling of togetherness in the whole village and arouses more interest on the part of the public.

Everyone was extremely happy, especially because they are all part of the museum, each according to his or her abilities, and because all have contributed in one way or another to making it possible. What characterises our museum is the lifeblood, the bond with the village and the "people", the passion, the friendship and mutual appreciation, the modesty. To us, every action, decision and activity must show respect for history, tradition, landscape and for the people. It must pursue the goal of contributing to peace-building in the most diverse ways, promoting tolerance and mutual appreciation and showing openness towards the "other".

We will continue in this direction: thank you for sustaining us by this great appreciation.

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Museum of Krakow - Thesaurus Cracoviensis, Special Commendation 2021

Ten months ago, we registered Museum of Krakow – Thesaurus Cracoviensis to European Museum of the Year Award. Almost one year later, I can now say that the dreams really come true. Maybe it just takes some time but the most important thing is to give oneself a chance!

I am really proud of this special commendation which is, in my opinion, a microcosmic reflection of our international museum community. We are citizens of Europe, we are citizens of the world!

I would like to express my appreciation to the European Museum Forum board of trustees, European Museum of the Year Award jury and everyone involved in the organisation of the EMYA 2020-2021 Award Ceremony. Finally, I would like to thank to the whole team of Museum of Krakow that was engaged in creating Thesaurus Cracoviensis. Thank you!

Michał Niezabitowski
Director of the Museum of Krakow

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Rijksmuseum Boerhaave, the European Museum of the Year Award 2019

Rijksmuseum Boerhaave in the Netherlands is honoured to be the winner of the prestigious European Museum of the Year Award 2019. It is a tremendous compliment. Every day we are told by visitors how greatly they appreciate our renewed museum, something we are incredibly proud of. We also welcome many representatives of the museums who come to us for inspiration to introduce innovations in their own museum. This award is really the cherry on the cake.

We have celebrated the award with our staff and visitors and used a wide variety of our communication tools to spread the news. This resulted in many extra visitors in the past few months.

Watch the video message from Rijksmuseum Boerhaave

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Interview on EMYA2013 Kenneth Hudson Prize: Batalha Community Museum

Several months after their prize we wanted to know how they were getting on; we met Ana Luisa Moderno and Cintia Manuela. Located in Batalha town, near Bathalha’s Monastery, a UNESCO monument, the MCCB is seen as an innovative cultural centre, which promotes cultures, knowledge and heritage, in one of the main tourist destinations of Portugal. Kenneth Hudson wanted museums to make a difference to people and for museums to put people first. In this aim, the MCCB won the Kenneth Hudson Prize in 2013 for its work in providing museum experiences for blind and partially-sighted visitors which normalises their experience and addresses an important aspect of equality.

What was your first impression you heard that you won the EMYA 2013 Kenneth Hudson prize?
I remember we were in Tongeren, Belgium and the Kenneth Hudson was the first prize announced; a few seconds before I thought in my head « it’s for us « and we heard our museum, we jumped off our chair ! The second we received the prize we had several phone calls from Portuguese journalist who wanted to have information on us, we hadn’t prepared it and we had to manage a huge amount of demand, it was such an accomplishment.

How was your prize received in Portugal?
As we were the first Portuguese museum who won the Kenneth Hudson Award, we received a lot of solicitations from Portuguese newspaper, radio, television not only specialist magazines but general media. “We were everywhere”. This was a strong feeling of being so proud for the Portuguese museum and Portuguese people.

Did you increase your number of visitors?
Of course we did! But funny enough it was very effective we welcome a large number of visitors only few days after the prize. Everybody wanted to visit us! We also increased our number of visitors in the long term, something like 5000 people more in 2013; this prize is a recognition from the public.

Did this prize change anything in your work?
Clearly not! By receiving this prize we understand that we were working in a good way and we should continue in this direction, this recognition permitted us to be more confident and continue on this way. Receiving an award from a European organisation of museum professionals is a huge breathes for us. It reassures us in our work and our future projects; we won credibility in front visitors and with collaborators. It makes us confident but even more ambitious in developing new projects, to attract the public as much as possible.

Did anything change with the local community?
Since the prize, we won credibility with the schools located around Bathalha, before it we received school group two months a year around March and April but now we have a big demand from the teachers and we organise two or three workshops per month in our museum.

Do you have any anecdote related to the European Museum Forum?
Yes! We received our EMF judge Shirley Collier who stayed two days in Bathalha and we knew that in the EMF model, we could receive a second anonymous visit. One day, during the competition, we received a man who presented himself as a Japanese tourist , he stayed 3 hours in our museum watching everything object by object, we started to be suspicious and thinking maybe it’s a EMYA Judge! Today we still don’t know if it was an anonymous judge or a simple visitor, but EMF doesn’t want to reply to keep the mystery alive!

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Adelheid Ponsioen, Open Air Museum, Arnhem (The Netherlands)

Winning the European Museum of the Year Award (2005) is a great honour. As director of the Open Air Museum in Arnhem, I once experienced it myself and the exposure was great. That year the number of visitors increased considerably.

The EMF, which organises the award of this prize annually, is an important organisation, which once a year brings together a large part of the European Museum World to get to know new developments in the museum world and to see the presentations of the nominees.

The congresses are organised throughout Europe, making it possible to visit a number of museums in the organising country and to get to know the culture of the country. In short, this price and the related prices must remain and the EMF as an organisation, mainly consisting of volunteers, must remain and be supported.