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EMF Annual Assembly and EMYA 2016 Ceremony Registration Open


We are delighted to invite you to the European Museum of the Year Award (EMYA) event which will take place in Tolosa, Basque Country, Spain, from Wednesday 7th to Saturday 9th April 2016. For the past 39 years EMYA has stood for public quality, creativity and innovation in the museum field. It gathers together small, medium and large museums with one thing in common – outstanding excellence!

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More than 200 participants come together every year from across all of Europe. They meet to discuss points of view, themes and issues that affect museums. This year, forty nine candidates from 24 countries are in the competition for the prestigious annual awards and the title of European Museum of the Year. Using inspiring stories, dramatic buildings and innovative solutions to make their collections shine and engage with diverse audiences, these museums and galleries represent a wide range of collections and approaches to interpretation and visitor service.

The event offers workshops, panels, interviews with candidates and a range of social gatherings in which to meet colleagues informally. On the Pre-Conference Day (6/4/16) at Tolosa-San Sebastian’s you will visit some of the cultural highlights in San Sebastian and have informal exchange with experts who explore what matters in museums today. Two days of interviews in Tolosa with nominated museums is an extraordinary experience that gives a brilliant overview on the European museum scene.

Your host for EMYA 2016 is TOPIC, Tolosa’s International Puppet Center (www.topictolosa.com; Siletto prize winner in 2012), where the main programme for EMYA 2016 will take place, and during the course of 4 days, historic sights and museums of the village of Tolosa and other villages and cities like San Sebastian (San Telmo Museum and Basque Culinary Center), Getaria (Balenciaga Museum) and Gernika (Basque Museum) will open their doors to EMYA participants. Visits to the Guggenheim in Bilbao (EMYA award winning museum in 2000) or the Europa Nostra 2015 award winner Salinas de Añana in Alaba will feature as optional tours on the itinerary.

Our host village Tolosa (www.tolosaldea.eus) is well known for its Carnival, as a gastronomic destination and for its spirited and full of initiative people. It was the former capital of Gipuzkoa (www.gipuzkoaturismo.net), a landmark in its territory, which in barely 2000 square metres, a little more than a city like London, manages to hold a cosmopolitan capital such as Donostia-San Sebastian, a traditional culture and the oldest language in Europe (Basque language), 86 km of versatile coastline and a lush green, maze-like countryside. Gipuzkoa is one of the three regions in the Basque Country (http://turismoa.euskadi.eus/eu), a small country with a large identity.

Donostia-San Sebastian will also be European Capital of Culture 2016 and it has been pointed out as one of the world’s 20 best destinations to travel to in 2016 according by the Unites States most prestigious travel guide.

Save the date! Make sure you’re at EMYA 2016 - the museum event that matters.

Goranka Horjan

Chair of the European Museum Forum, Trust of EMYA


Registration now open on the website: www.topictolosa.com/emya




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EMYA 2016 Nominees


The Judging Panel of the European Museum Forum received applications from 24 member countries of the Council of Europe; it held its meeting on 19-21 November in Zagreb to determine the nominations for the European Museum of the Year Award 2016 (EMYA).

European Museum Forum is delighted to reveal the 49 nominees for the EMYA 2016. [click here]

The winners will be announced at the Award Ceremony traditionally closing the Annual Assembly of the European Museum Forum which will take place on 6-9 April 2016 in Tolosa and San Sebastian, Basque Country (Spain).

The European Solidarity Centre in Gdańsk wins the 2016 Council of Europe Museum Prize

The Council of Europe Museum Prize for 2016 has been awarded to the European Solidarity Centre in Gdańsk (Poland).

The prize is decided on the basis of a shortlist presented by a jury of the European Museum Forum, and forms part of the European Museum of the Year Awards.


According to the Council of Europe press release this museum is “a fascinating example of a cultural institution working to promote freedom and solidarity. The events it recounts and its programme make it a forum for modern Europe. It succeeds in making the history of the trade union Solidarnösc a powerful and moving source of inspiration for civic engagement and action. The Centre connects history with life and makes a direct link between culture and democracy.

Twenty-five years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, thoughts are returning of building new walls. The European Solidarity Centre’s aim is to provide factual back-up for organisations working for the common good, freedom and human rights”.

The Council of Europe Museum Prize has been awarded annually since 1977 to a museum judged to have made a significant contribution to the understanding of European cultural heritage. The winning museum will be presented with a bronze statuette, “La femme aux beaux seins” by Joan Miró, which the museum will keep for a year, together with a diploma. The prize is decided on the basis of a shortlist presented by a jury of the European Museum Forum, and forms part of the European Museum of the Year Awards.

NIMOZ: National Institute for Museums and Public Collections

NIMOZ is a state agency established in 2011 by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage, in Poland.

It is responsible for creating and implementing national policy for museums in Poland, building on its rich cultural heritage and diverse collections to enable easier access and promote culture in a sustainable and responsible manner at both the national and international level.

Thanks to the commitment of the National Correspondent Paulina Florjanowicz, EMF enriches its network of international collaborations giving its patronage to this significant initiative.


THE BEST IN HERITAGE - Dubrovnik, Croatia 24-26 September 2015

Last year more than 50 major award schemes from around the world have announced almost 300 awards for the best museum, heritage and conservation projects. Out of that list of remarkable achievements, a result of long and devoted work of dozens of most accomplished, professional juries, The Best in Heritage has made a selection of the 28 most innovative and inspiring candidates. They represent a balanced variety of best practices, done in different circumstances and context.

This, 14th edition of The Best in Heritage conference will once more give these projects further, well deserved attention of the international professional community. The programme promises a packed 2-day programme, with projects from China, United States, Japan, Iran, Australia, Canada, Russia and Europe taking the stage. The participation of the audience is assured through Q&A sessions and discussions. In addition,  the post-conference seminar  “Financing Heritage Institutions in Times of Scarcity", will take place on September 27th at Inter-University Centre Dubrovnik, in partnership with the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands in Croatia.

In addition to the global survey of the projects of influence, the event features rich social and cultural content organised with help of our local partner Dubrovnik Museums, all taking place in the Renaissance city core of Dubrovnik, UNESCO’s  World heritage site, a . All conference venues, the neo-baroque theatre and palaces provide inspiring atmosphere for prestigious event. The conference is ideal for networking, discussing potential collaborations and getting inspired by top rank professionals in personal contact.

The conference is organised in partnership with Europa Nostra, under special patronage of ICOM and under patronage of the City of Dubrovnik.





Dear colleagues, after very successful last year's meeting in Ha-Noi, Vietnam we are pleased to welcome you at the ICOM-ICTOP 2015 Annual Conference which will be held in Bridgetown, Barbados from 14-16(17) October 2015. The conference is organised in cooperation with ICOM Barbados and will be hosted by the Barbados Museum and Historical Society and the University of West Indies Barbados.

We cordially invite you to join us (as a presenter or a participant) since we are keen to hear your experiences addressing this year conference theme:


International and Caribbean futures for teaching

holistic, inclusive, tangible and intangible culture and heritage"

Deadline for proposal of papers (poster & workshops are welcome too) is set to June 15th, 2015.

For further information about ICOM-ICTOP 2015 Annual Conference please visit: http://2015.ictop.org/

For full Call of papers, submitting details and instructions please visit: http://2015.ictop.org/call-for-papers/


We are looking forward to meet you at splendid Caribbean/Barbados and to share your visions and experiences on museum and heritage related (trainings) presents & futures.

EMYA 2015 Winners

Winner of the European Museum of the Year Award 2015 is the Rijksmuseum, The Netherlands

EMYA 2015 winners

Congratulations to all proud winners attending the 2015 Awards

The European Museum of the Year Award (EMYA) was presented at the 2015 Award Ceremony hosted by the Riverside Museum in Glasgow - Winner of the 2013 European Museum of the Year Award. The award scheme celebrates 38 year of excellence and innovation in museums across Europe.

The 2015 Awards were announced on 16 May in presence of over 200 people from 29 European countries.

The results of the 2015 Awards are as follows.


EMYA 2015

The European Museum of the Year Award 2015 goes to Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The museum received the EMYA trophy The Egg, by Henry Moore, which it will keep for one year.

This world-famous museum was closed for almost a decade to allow for a complete overhaul of the building, which enabled the creation of new concourse spaces, much better visitor services and circulation. The stunning restoration of original wall-paintings, the elegant rehang of its world-famous paintings, the Museum’s new historic galleries which integrate all the collections, a new Asian Art pavilion and a new medieval gallery: all celebrate the range and depth of the Museum’s collections vividly. The renewed Rijksmuseum offers impressive multilingual guidance to its visitors, witty and thought-provoking interventions in the galleries, and a state-of-the-art website for virtual visitors. Not immediately obvious to the visitor are the museum’s diverse educational and outreach programmes. The ambition to “reach every child in the Netherlands by the age of twelve” is notable, impressive and achievable. This is a great museum, at the height of its powers, providing a rich experience to the public, and a socially aware outreach programme for visitors of all ages.

The Silletto Prize 2015

The Silletto Prize recognises excellence in working with the local community and involving volunteers. It goes to The Familistère at Guise, France.

In Guise, a little town in the north of France, 19th century manufacturer Godin created a phalanstery, the Familistère. In this ‘social palace’, he created large pavilions with apartments for the workers, but also schools, shops, a theatre, a swimming-pool and gardens. Today’s museum evokes the history of the site and the factory. Visitors and inhabitants of the site participate in the same activities as the 19th century workers. The Familistère works with volunteers to offer guided tours and PR content, but the Museum also involves inhabitants of the site in outreach activities. The Judging Panel was impressed by the way the museum both illustrates the past and links it to the present, whilst at the same time being a living museum. It has heroically saved a heritage site and made it flourish again. The museum restores pride to the local community and shows how today’s cultural and economic activities, rooted in the heritage of a site, can help the regeneration of a town following a deep economic crisis.

The Kenneth Hudson Award 2015

The Kenneth Hudson Award is given in recognition of the most unusual and daring achievement that challenges common perceptions of the role of museums in society. It goes to The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum, Geneva, Switzerland.

The museum has transcended the boundaries of a typical corporate museum and recomposed its vast and constantly growing collection into an emotionally touching and engaging story. The story is about compassion and timely help to those in need, about hope and perseverance in finding lost family members, and restoring someone's trampled dignity. Documentary accounts of witnesses are masterfully woven into the ambience. The newly redesigned exhibition appeals to the emotive mechanisms of perception, and touches on the topic of strong moral values. The Judges were particularly impressed by the Museum’s decision to choose three famous designers from different cultural backgrounds to visualise three major topics of the permanent exhibition. This, they felt, was a bold manifestation of true cultural diversity and as such represented an outstanding aspect of the Museum, which elevated it to the position of a prize winner.

Special Commendations 2015

The following museums have received Special Commendations from the EMYA Judging Panel:

The Finnish Nature Centre Haltia, Haltia, Finland (Special Commendation for Sustainability)

From its building materials to its energy-saving green technology, Haltia has been planned as an exemplar for the relationship between man and nature. The museum takes on the role not only of educating young people about nature, but also addressing the question of man's capability to cope on this planet, and carries a message for the future about the possibility of long term sustainability.

Red Star Line Museum, Antwerp, Belgium

Using its collections alongside clever montage, interactive media, poignant and relevant objects, the museum presents the story of migration through the city and port of Antwerp from 1840 to 1930.  It meditates on migration as an intrinsic part of human heritage and includes in its outreach programmes the new immigrant communities in its hinterland.

MUSE: Museo delle Scienze (Science Museum), Trento, Italy

This museum represents innovation and creativity in all of its museum functions. Stimulating the relationship between nature, science and society, the Muse: Science Museum demonstrates great commitment to the democratization of access, exploration and discovery and awareness of current issues in the relationship between nature, natural heritage and environmental sustainability.

Mary Rose Museum, Portsmouth, UK

This museum is awarded for the beautifully designed building which accommodates the restored warship, and its valuable educational and inclusive outreach programmes. The nature of its conservation and scientific research makes the museum a leader in the world of maritime archaeology and a laboratory for the rescue of organic material from underwater sites.  The exceptional way in which it presents this to the public sets a new standard for museums of its kind.

Vorarlberg Museum, Vorarlberg, Austria

The Voralberg Museum shows courage in questioning preconceived ideas and is awarded for its open and deconstructive approach in the exploration of local and regional identities. Its passion and commitment to its core purpose make it stand out amongst museums of its type.


The Council of Europe Museum Prize 2015

Announced earlier this year, the Council of Europe Museum Prize and the accompanying trophy, La femme aux beaux seins by Joan Miró, has gone to MuCEM: Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations, Marseille, France.

The museum’s concept is based on the idea of the Mediterranean as the founding basin of European civilisation. How the idea of citizenship was born in cities around the Mediterranean is addressed in the museum, forcing the visitor to reflect upon – and be challenged by – the different perspectives on European history, to deal with the complexity of Europe and the Mediterranean world, to explore differences and visions, from the birth of Europe, through its evolution, right up to the present day and contemporary, society-wide issues. The Museum’s concept and programme show how a museum can extend its scope and mission – from traditional scientific, historical and cultural functions to a focus on the citizen, and to urban and social dimensions. The planning of the building and its site, the organising principles, the democratising ideal of shared use of the spaces with the city, turn MuCEM into a 21st century agora, an outstanding urban solution, and a landmark for the city of Marseille and the region. The Museum builds a permanent bridge between European and Mediterranean cultures.