2007 European Museum of the Year Award

From H-Museum:


EMYA 2007: A great event for European museums in Alicante

The European Museum of the Year Award, organised by the European Museum Forum, celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, with a Presentation Ceremony and associated activities based at various venues in Alicante, Spain, hosted by MARQ Museo Arqueológico Provincial de Alicante and local sponsoring organisations.

The 2007 Awards were announced on Saturday 5 May, during a ceremony attended
by more than 150 people from 28 European countries at MARQ Museo
Arqueológico Provincial de Alicante, followed by a Gala Dinner at the
Estación Maritima of the Port of Alicante. The winners were announced by
Sir Neil Cossons, EMF’s President and presented by the Forum’s Patron, Her
Majesty Queen Fabiola of Belgium.

The results of the 2007 Awards are as follows:

The Micheletti Award for the most promising technical or industrial museum
among the current year’s candidates goes to Brunel’s ss Great Britain in
Bristol, U.K. This project was judged to be an outstanding achievement by a
privately financed Trust. The daring decision to bring a rusting hulk from
the Falkland Islands to Bristol, followed by a major study to find the best
solution for its preservation was a huge task in itself. The subsequent
preservation, reconstruction and interpretation of the vessel has
transcended all expectations and with its associated museum telling the
story of the ship in reverse time order in historical, cultural and
technical terms, visitors are provided with a unique experience. The
installation of lifts within the ship’s funnel makes accessibility available
to all, which is rare aboard a historic ship.

The Council of Europe Award, a bronze statuette by Miró, goes to the
International Museum of the Reformation in Geneva, Switzerland, as the first
and only museum dealing with the subject of the Reformation in Europe.
Focused on Calvin, it deals with other figures such as Martin Luther, and
covers historic events going well beyond Geneva. The museum has close
relationships with museums, research institutions and universities in other
countries and its publications on the history of the Reformation are of
outstanding quality. Theological discourse is brought into the exhibition
and although it is dedicated to one particular branch of Christianity, the
museum demonstrates a high level of religious tolerance. This award was
presented at a separate ceremony in Strasbourg on 17 April 2007.

The 2007 European Museum of the Year Award is given to the German Emigration
Center in Bremerhaven. This stylish museum, in a purpose-built building on
the site of the dock from which more than seven million emigrants from
Germany and Eastern Europe departed, pays tribute to those who left for a
variety of reasons, bound for the New World. Theatrical techniques and
effective multimedia installations transport the visitor from dock to ship
and eventually to shore, experiencing the uncertainty of the emigrants’
arrival in the Promised Land. The Gallery of Seven Million, containing
documentation on all the emigrants from the port, leads visitors towards a
substantial modern research section, where they have the opportunity to
follow their own lines of enquiry right up to the present day. Excellent
visitor facilities are matched by a willingness and ability to cope with
large numbers, as indicated by the average length of time for a visit. With
its package of qualities, this is a worthy winner for EMYA’s 30th
anniversary year.

Specially commended

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

These four museums received a special diploma recognising their excellence
in conception, innovative approach to interpretation and attention to the
needs of their visitors.

During the two days of public interviews before the Ceremony, those museums
which had passed the first stage of the judging each received a certificate
in recognition of their innovatory achievements. The full list of these
museums can be seen on the website of the European Museum Forum.

The European Museum Forum: what it is and what it does

The Forum is responsible to the European Museum Forum Trust, a charity
registered in the United Kingdom (282158), and operating under the auspices
of the Council of Europe. In addition to holding the European Museum of the
Year Award, it organises Museum Workshops at different places in Europe,
publishes a quarterly bulletin and runs an advisory and consultancy service.

Its day-to-day operation is controlled by an international committee,
composed of men and women influential in the museum and cultural fields and
it is a wholly independent body, deriving its income from membership and
entrance fees and various forms of sponsorship. It considers that its main
duty is to the public, but it maintains good relations with both national
and international professional organisations.

The candidates for its Award are new museums, established within the past
two or three years, and older museums which have been completely reorganised
during the same period. It receives applications from between 50 and 60
candidates a year, all of whom receive assessment visits from members of the
Forum’s judging committee, who constitute a European flying squad, which
goes from country to country encouraging, comforting, criticising and
offering practical advice. This is something new and unique in the museum
world. So far more than 1500 museums in 40 countries have taken part in the
EMYA scheme.

The Forum considers itself to be European in the most profound sense of the
word, a focus of cultural understanding. Its opinions are expressed in
plain terms, and its aim each year, in selecting the European Museum of the
Year, is to discover and publicise a museum which has succeeded
outstandingly well in dealing with the problems that are facing museums
everywhere, problems of imagination, money, staff morale, bureaucracy,
integrity and professional pride, taste, social responsibility and planning
for the future.

For more information please visit www.europeanmuseumforum.org or contact Ann
Nicholls on mail@europeanmuseumforum.org; telephone 0044 117 923 8897; fax
0044 117 973 2437.

Raluca Bem Neamu
Romanian National Correspondent EMF


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