The Zaha Hadid-designed Riverside Museum: Scotland’s Museum of Transport and Travel keeps raking in recognitions (previously on Bustler): the new Glasgow museum attraction just won the prestigious European Museum of the Year Award 2013, presented by the European Museum Forum. The announcement was made at a special awards ceremony at EMF's annual assembly hosted by the Gallo Romeins Museum in Tongeren in Belgium, EMYA Winner in 2011.
More than 150 people came together in a three day event celebrating innovation and public quality in museums across Europe. The event culminated in a prestigious Awards Ceremony in the beautiful Basilica in Tongeren on May 18, coinciding with International Museum Day 2013.
Forty museums applied for the European Museum of the Year Award 2013 from 21 countries and 29 were nominated by the EMYA Judging Panel for the award. Museums are assessed on their public quality, defined by EMF's founder Kenneth Hudson as "the extent to which a museum satisfies the needs and wishes of its visitors." The EMYA Judging Panel traveled throughout Europe to visit the candidates - from Azerbaijan to Portugal, and the Lofoten Islands in Norway to Turkey.
The main prizes were given out by Joke Schauvliege, Flemish Minister of Environment, Nature and culture and by Igor Philtjens, Vice Governor of the Province of Limburg. Vice Governor Igor Philtjens. “The province of Limburg invests in the quality of its museums, also in economic difficult times. We truly believe in the added value of our efforts. This event is an ideal occasion to put our ambitions in the spotlight all over Europe”.
These are the winners and special commendations:
European Museum of the Year Award 2013: Riverside Museum: Scotland’s Museum of Transport and Travel
The Riverside Museum demonstrates brilliantly how a specialist transport collection can renew its relevance through active engagement with wider social and universal issues. The EMYA 2013 Judging Panel agreed unanimously that the museum fulfills the EMYA criteria of 'public quality' at the highest level.
Kenneth Hudson Award: Batalha’s Municipal Community Museum
Damão e Diu – Batalha, Portugal
Kenneth Hudson wanted museums to put people first in his concept of public quality. Batalha Community Museum’s commitment to the blind and partially-sighted community has resulted in a museum with a visitor experience which will start to shift our perspective of who museums are really for.
This award is presented by the European Museum Forum Board of Trustees.
Silletto Award: MAS Museum aan de Stroom
This MAS city museum shows real innovation and commitment in how it connects with the city and its communities. The EMYA Judging Panel was impressed with the diverse and new ways of how the museum engages the public and local communities to present the identity of Antwerp.
The prize is presented by The Silletto Trust, founded in memory of Reginald Silletto, Chair of the Friends of Manx National Heritage for more than 20 years. The Silletto Award awards museums for good practice and innovation in voluntary and community involvement.
Special commendations were given to:
Gobustan National Historical Artistic Museum
Garadakh district, Azerbaijan
The commendation was awarded for stimulating public awareness and knowledge of prehistoric art to enrich communities regionally, nationally and internationally through a new approach of storytelling and use of advanced technologies.
Art Museum Riga Bourse
For one of the most impressive renovated national buildings transformed for a museum purpose. The museum has succeeded in creating an astonishing atmosphere for the public by opening a building to the public that was previously only for the financial elite.
National Maritime Museum
The Museum is a landmark in the city and explores new ways of creating "waves" in society thanks to creative uses of technology. The EMYA 2013 Judging Panel was impressed by the overall approach that allows visitors of all ages and backgrounds to get immersed in a maritime universe.
San Telmo Museum
San Telmo, Spain
The commendation was awarded for the museum’s approach towards the promotion of citizenship and respect for human rights, connecting cultures and overcoming social and political borders, promoting public engagement in the world as a tool to foresee and build the future.
EMF is run under the auspices of the Council of Europe and the winner of the annual Council of Europe Museum Prize is selected from the pool of EMYA candidates. This year’s winner is the Museum of Liverpool in the UK and was celebrated in a special awards ceremony at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg in April 2013.
A full list of nominated museums can be found on the EMF website at www.europeanmuseumforum.org