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EMYA2017: registration is now open!

On 3-6 may 2017 we will be holding the annual Ceremony in Zagreb, Croatia.

To celebrate our 40th anniversary we have prepared a great programme: enjoy presentations of nominated museums competing for prestigious award and visit museums in Zagreb.

Join us in this celebration, meet the people who make it happen, and discover why the European Museum of the Year Award and the Council of Europe Museum Prize are leading models for promoting excellence and democratic values in museums.

Visit www.emya2017.eu and check the programme!

The registration is now open.






EMYA2017 Event/EMF travel grants programme

emf event emya


European Museum Forum (EMF) is happy to announce that a travel grants programme for those attending the 2017 EMF Assembly and European Museum of the Year Award (EMYA) Ceremony, to be held in Zagreb, from the 3rd to the 6th of May 2017, is now open for applications.

The programme has been initiated and supported by Event Communications Ltd. (Event), a British museum and experience design company. The programme is operated by EMF.

6 travel grants of €750 each will be awarded to individuals for travel to Croatia.

The grants will be awarded by a Selection Committee that includes representatives of Event, EMF Board of Trustees and EMYA Judging Panel.

Individuals belonging to one of the following categories are eligible for the Event/EMF travel grants:

(1) Representatives of museums nominated for EMYA 2017 (NMs): see the list of Nominated Museums at https://goo.gl/fuB6B8

(2) EMF National Correspondents (NCs): see the list of EMF National Correspondents at https://goo.gl/SmKtZO

Applicants are expected to send an informal letter of application addressed to the Event/EMF travel grants programme Selection Committee (see guidelines below). The letter should not exceed one printed page and should include a photograph of yourself. Please provide us with your motivation for applying and/or describe what the bursary would mean to you. It should be sent as an email attachment to Sara Minotti, EMF Administrator, at emf@europeanforum.museum

Deadline for applications: 20 February 2017

The travel grant winners will be announced on the EMF website by the 27th February

The travel grants are not accountable: it is up to a grantee whether the money is spent for travel, accommodation or participation fee. No financial report is required. However, a winner of the travel grant shall attend the Assembly and Ceremony in Zagreb for the whole time of the duration of these events. In the case of no-show, the grant shall be returned to EMF by the grantee and given over to the next person on the list.

On Thursday the 4th May, Event is going to offer a cocktail at the Museum of Arts and Crafts to all the participants, which will also be the occasion for the Grantees to be introduced to representatives of Event Communications, EMF Board of Trustees and EMYA Judging Panel.

The winners of Event/EMF travel grants will be requested to complete a short survey after the event in Croatia, describing what they got out of attending EMYA.

For the programme of EMYA2017, please check also www.emya2017.eu.

EMYA 2017 Travel Grants winners:

  • Ilirjan Gjipali

EMF National Correspondent, Albania

  • Roya Taghiyeva

EMF National Correspondent, Azerbaijan

  • Stavri Nikolov

EMF National Correspondent, Bulgaria

  • Lana Anna Karaia

EMF National Correspondent, Georgia

  • Yuliya Glazyrina

EMF National Correspondent, Russia

  • María San Sebastián Poch

EMF National Correspondent, Spain


For questions and additional information please write to Sara Minotti, EMF Administrator, at emf@europeanforum.museum.

'Mémorial ACTe, Caribbean Center of Expressions and Memory of the Slave Trade and Slavery' wins the 2017 Council of Europe Museum Prize

The Council of Europe Museum Prize for 2017 has been awarded to the Mémorial ACTe (MACTe), Caribbean Center of Expressions and Memory of the Slave Trade and Slavery in Guadeloupe (France).

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

The museum was selected by the Culture Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) at a meeting in Paris today, Friday 9 December.

mactevisitors macte_low

According to the rapporteur on the Museum Prize, Adele Gambaro (Italy, ALDE), this “outstanding, stunning and innovative museum fits precisely with the Council of Europe criteria. Initially conceived as a memorial, the museum has become not only a living, dynamic place for memory of the transatlantic slave trade and slavery (connecting Africa, the Americas and Europe), but also a commemoration of the resilience of human beings. It promotes tolerance and opens up in a creative way perspectives for the future.

The judging panel praised the founding principles of the museum, whose role is to make the act of remembrance a means of producing a new society, with the goal of providing intellectual tools for the fight against the social and societal consequences of slavery such as racism, social exclusion, inequality and contemporary forms of infringement of human rights. Its interdisciplinary approach includes recruiting and training local staff in order to create a sense of belonging and ownership in the very disadvantaged neighbourhood of Carénage. Late opening hours also make it into a lively centre for living arts and a meeting place for the local population.


EMYA 2017 Nominees


EMYA 2017 Judging Panel held its meeting in the Historisches Museum Frankfurt: our 12 Judges and representatives of the Council of Europe attended the gathering, discussing all the candidatures received.

We are delighted to reveal the 46 nominees for the European Museum of the Year Award 2017!

European Heritage Alliance 3.3 meeting in Leipzig

Europa Nostra held its autumn Board and Council meetings on 9-11 November 2016 in Leipzig, Germany, on the occasion of the denkmal fair, Europe’s leading Trade Fair for Conservation, Restoration and Old Building Renovation. An insightful three-day programme of events, with side meetings, ensured that participants had ample time to network and exchange views with professionals from the wider heritage field and participants of the denkmal fair.

Europa Nostra also organised two key events that brought together members of the European Heritage Alliance 3.3 as well as the wider public attending the denkmal fair.










European Heritage Alliance had a meeting and public debate in Leipzig on the theme

„Towards the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018“

The event was organised in cooperation with Europa Nostra as the main coordinator of the alliance and Deutsches Nationalkomitee fur Denkmalschutz and supported by Creative Europe. The meeting was organised to strengthen messages and keep focus on the joint activities for 2018 since this will be a unique opportunity to address issues of utmost importance. One of them is certainly the problem of the financial limit to invest into cultural heritage monuments – 5 million euro maximum per object.

Goranka Horjan, chair of European Museum Forum stressed that this limitation is particularly difficult for museums. They are usually housed in a cultural monument that needs constant maintenance and often renovation and restoration on one hand and huge investment into museum contents and expositions to make them attractive to various audiences.



Newly built Museums – Hubs of best practices

2017 is a special year for the European Museum Forum: we are going to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the European Museum of the Year Award!

The 40th EMYA will take place from 3 to 6 May 2017 in Zagreb, Croatia.

We are glad to express our gratitude to the Croatian Ministry of Culture who helped us solving the unexpected change of venue, previously announced.

We will welcome many partner organisations to the Ethnographic Museum, Mimara Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art, Museum of Arts and Crafts, Gallery Klovićevi Dvori and many other museums in the city of Zagreb.

This milestone in the history of our network, the 40 years of activities, is organized together with Croatian Ministry of Culture, the Council of Europe that will join the celebration and support the event, the City of Zagreb.

Save the dates in May 3-6 to join us, do not miss the chance to attend the presentation of the EMYA 2017 candidates in Zagreb and to take part in our 40th anniversary celebration.


The European Museum of the Year Award (EMYA) and the Council of Europe Museum Prize were launched in 1977, by the European Museum Forum – founded by Kenneth Hudson, under the auspices of the Council of Europe. Since then - and in collaboration with other international organizations, such as ICOM, NEMO and the Best in Heritage – the award scheme aims to recognize excellence in European museums and to encourage innovative processes for the benefit of society.

Numerous participants come together every year from across all of Europe, meeting to discuss points of view, themes and issues that affect museums. During the EMYA ceremony, the European Museum Forum offers workshops, panels, interviews with museums candidates and a range of social gatherings and informal exchange with experts who explore what matters in museums today.

An extraordinary experience that gives a brilliant overview on the European museum scene!

ICOM Endowment Fund and European Museum Forum agreement

ICOM Endowment Fund and European Museum Forum have signed the cooperation agreement for the next three years on 8th July 2016.

ICOM’s President Hans Martin Hinz and EMF Chair of the Board of Trustees Goranka Horjan signed the document at the General Conference in Milan.

The cooperation between ICOM and EMF has been continuing and is in line with the strategic plans of both organisations. By enhancing its international profile ICOM is encouraging agreements with museum associations while networking has been one of the priorities of the European Museum Forum in the last few years.

ICOM Endowment Fund has been established to support museum activities and various projects in line with the mission and vision of the organisation and the EMYA scheme, run by European Museum Forum, has a long and firm reputation of promoting excellence in the museum sector.


European Heritage Alliance Meeting in Brussels

EU alliance

European Museum Forum’s Chair participated at the European Heritage Alliance Meeting in Brussels on the eve of announcing 2018 as the Year of Cultural Heritage by the EU Commissioner Tibor Navracic.

Together with 20 other representatives of different heritage networks Goranka Horjan, Chair of the EMF Board of Trustees, took part at the meeting held on 18th April 2016 where possibilities of further cooperation between organisations have been explored.

However, the main issue on the agenda was proclamation of the year 2018 as the Year of Cultural Heritage by the EU Commissioner Tibor Navracic, expected to be officially announced during the European Culture Forum the next day. All members of the Alliance have been asked for contributions in defining the main strategies how to use the huge political significance of this decision and how to address issues of utmost importance for the whole sector. Although the allocated budget is expected to be relatively small, by joining forces in using existing events for additional promotion can have a multiple effect. Therefore, each organization has been asked to draft the plan for 2017-2019 main events and to list protagonists.

During the meeting the exchange has been made with Mr Jens Nymand Christensen, Deputy Director General of the DG Education and Culture from the European Commission.

The 40th Anniversary of EMYA next year has been announced as a key event of the European Museum Forum in 2017 and partner organizations that are actively involved with museums will be invited as speakers on the Saturday panel prior to the main Ceremony. This can help to articulate the key messages for 2018.

The next Alliance meeting will take place on 10th November 2016 in Karlsruhe during the NEMO annual conference.

The European Solidarity Centre, Gdańsk, Poland, has received the Council of Europe Museum Prize 2016

On the 19th April, during the ceremony in Strasbourg the Council of Europe officially awarded the European Solidarity Centre: 'a fascinating example of a cultural institution working to promote freedom and solidarity'.

coe strasbourg emya2016 strasbourg prize

As winner of the Council of Europe Museum Prize the museum will keep for one year the trophy, La femme aux beaux seins by Joan Miró.

EMYA 2016 Winners

9 April 2016

Winner of the European Museum of the Year Award 2016 announced in San Sebastian, Spain

The European Museum of the Year Award (EMYA), organised by the European Museum Forum (EMF), was presented at the 2016 Award Ceremony held in San Sebastian, Spain, in collaboration with TOPIC, Tolosa’s International Puppet Centre, on 9 April 2016. This year’s ceremony, held for 39th time, was marked by the centenary of Kenneth Hudson, founder of EMYA and EMF.

emya2016 nominees

The Ceremony was attended by over 200 people from 29 European countries.

The results of the 2016 Awards are as follows:


EMYA 2016

The European Museum of the Year Award 2016 goes to POLIN: Museum of the History of Polish Jews, Warsaw, Poland.

The museum received the EMYA trophy, The Egg by Henry Moore, which it will keep for one year.

polinIn its unique new building situated at the site of a once vibrant Jewish neighbourhood and later the site of the Warsaw Ghetto, the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews presents 1000 years of history of Polish Jews and their contribution to the region and to Europe, from the first settlement to the present time.

The long-shared history between Jewish people and other people of this region of the world is one of a continuously negotiated co-existence through conflict as well as cooperation, integration and assimilation. For very large and very diverse audiences the POLIN now serves as an absorbing place to confront and examine the perpetually relevant questions of how a co-existence, however fraught, can suddenly transfigure into an absolute rupture, into the near eradication of a whole population and destruction of a culture.


The Council of Europe Museum Prize 2016

The Council of Europe Museum Prize and the accompanying trophy, La femme aux beaux seins by Joan Miró, goes to the European Solidarity Centre, Gdańsk, Poland.

ESCThe European Solidarity Centre is a museum embedded in a larger context of an educational, research and academic centre, an archive, a library and multimedia library, a conference centre and home to a number of NGO's in a monumental new building situated in the symbolically significant neighbourhood of the Gdansk shipyard district, the site of the origins of the Solidarity movement.

The permanent displays comprise a rare, evocative and enticing narrative, dense with information and charged with emotional content, of workers in their work environment, of personal involvement, of an empowerment through solidarity between otherwise powerless people who proved resilient enough to make one of the world’s toughest political systems stumble.

It defines itself as a place where history meets the future, and stretches the concept of a museum into a public meeting space focused on citizenship, democracy and solidarity.


The Silletto Prize 2016

The Silletto Prize recognises excellence in working with the local community and involving volunteers. It goes to the Vukovar City Museum, Vukovar, Croatia.


In 1991, during the war in former Yugoslavia, the Eltz castle on the bank of the Danube, that housed the Vukovar City Museum, was almost completely destroyed. Since 1997, after the end of the war, the museum, which had existed as a museum in exile, has been an active force in reconstructing social and cultural life in Vukovar.

Barely 17 years after the end of the armed conflict, the Vukovar Museum presents tragedies of the past as things to be avoided in future, not in a spirit of revenge or glorifying military action, but concentrated on people’s suffering and the need for peace-keeping.


The Kenneth Hudson Award 2016

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 Micropia, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

This unique and original museum presents, in an elegant and engaging exhibition, the world of microbial life. In order to show its living collections to the public, new techniques of shared and projected microscopy have been developed, and carefully designed didactic elements impart information in a witty and effective manner. Integral to the success of the principal display is the biological laboratory staffed by volunteers and professional scientists working in a space fully visible to the visitor.


EMYA 2016 Judging Panel Special Commendations

The following museums have received Special Commendations:

Museum of Bibracte, Mont Beuvray, France (Special Commendation for Sustainability)

The museum, focused on the Celtic civilisation, is committed to environmental and social sustainability promoting smart management of the natural site, preserving landscapes, prioritizing low-energy equipment and developing projects for long-term employment in certain types of work, with a programme of activities aimed at local community.

The Archaeological Museum of Tegea, Tegea, Greece

Located in the heart of ancient Arcadia, the museum uses the rise of the polis, the city-state, as its central theme; it has placed the visitor at the centre of its thinking with integrated, state-of-the-art electronics, offering a coherent interpretive strategy and a clearly structured narrative.

BZ ´18–´45.One Monument, One City, Two Dictatorships: permanent exhibition within the Monument to Victory, Bolzano, Italy

The exhibition reintegrates a controversial monument, which has long served as the focal point of battles over politics, culture, and regional identity. The project is a highly courageous and professional initiative to promote humanism, tolerance and democracy.

National Military Museum, Soest, The Netherlands

The museum, avoiding a mere militaristic approach, proposes a more social view of military intervention appealing to the visitors’ intelligence and reflection. In presenting and explaining the moral dilemmas inherent in its subject matter, the museum addresses current issues and concerns, and exceeds visitor expectations in every way.

The Information Age Galleries, The Science Museum, London, United Kingdom

The museum traces the development of contemporary communication technology and its applications in civil society, scientific research, military affairs, as well as its social, political and economic impacts. The personal stories interwoven with the grand themes of scientific advances make this at once a very humane and scientifically authoritative exhibition.

The Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, United Kingdom

This university art museum has completely re-imagined itself as a beautifully displayed art collection in a new series of galleries perfectly wedded to a traditional 19th-century museum building. Elegant design, thoughtful and attractive architecture and meticulous attention to detail mark this museum of modest size as a beacon of elegance and intellectual sophistication.