Will the European Museum of the Year Award come back to the UK or Ireland?

By | Category: Travel news

Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust were winners in 1977, the first year of the award.

For forty years, the European Museum Forum has presented the European Museum of the Year Award. It is eagerly sought and, in November, it announced the forty shortlisted museums for its next award which will be announced in May next year.

The awards are only open to museums which have opened or completed redevelopments in the past three years.

Unlike the award of European City of Culture which is an EU organised event this has nothing to do with membership of the EU so entrants from the UK will not suddenly be told that they can’t win.

There are three awards that will be decided. In additional to the Museum of the Year Award. these are the Council of Europe Museum Prize for excellence; the Kenneth Hudson Award, for activities that challenge common perceptions of the role of museums in society and the Silletto Prize which is given to the museum that is judged the best at working with local communities and volunteers.

National Railway Museum in York won in 2001…

Three British museums, the Design Museum and the Science Museum in London and the Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth as well as two from Ireland – the National Gallery of Ireland and the Irish Emigration Museum are up for the awards but they face stiff competition from some of the others.

For example, Lascaux is another shortlisted candidate. This pre-eminent cave art complex in France opened the new “Centre International de l’Art Pariétal” last year which displays a full-scale copy of the original cave which is permanently closed to the public.

… and the Riverside Museum in Glasgow won in 2013.

From Lisbon in Portugal, two transport museums are candidates; the National Coach Museum and the National Rail Museum. People still largely think of Impressionism in art and assume it to be French based but other countries such as the USA have artists who specialised in this genre. One of the biggest group of artists were Russian and the Museum of Russian Impressionism in Moscow is an entrant.

Other museums applying for the awards include the Hospital in the Rock Nuclear Bunker Museum in the Hungarian capital, Budapest and the Money Museum of the Deutsche Bundesbank in Frankfurt.

The competition will be tough but each of the five will be hoping that they can bring a prize back and join the Riverside Museum in Glasgow, the National Railway Museum in York and Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust as previous winners in our islands.

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