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ICOM Endowment Fund and European Museum Forum signed cooperation 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.


EMYA 2017: new deadline announced

We are delighted to announce that European Museum Forum is extending the deadline for the European Museum of the Year Award 2017 competition:

Museums can send the application for EMYA 2017 until 24 June 2016.

Download the Application Form, Guidelines and Frequently asked questions.


In 2017 we will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the European Museum of the Year Award, the event that, every year, highlights the new challenges and the public quality of museums in Europe.

Call for EMYA 2017

Call for EMYA 2017 is now open!


European Museum Forum is delighted to announce the launch of European Museum of the Year Award and Council of Europe Museum Prize 2017 competition.

This is the 40th edition of the most prestigious European museum award.

You can download the Application Form, Guidelines and Frequently asked questions.

The applications for EMYA2017 can be submitted until the 10th June 2016.

European Heritage Alliance Meeting in Brussels

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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'.

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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.

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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.

EMF Annual Assembly and EMYA 2016 Ceremony Registration Open

EMYA 2016 is approaching.

Discover the programme of interviews with the Nominated Museums: click here.

An extraordinary experience, at TOPIC, Tolosa’s International Puppet Centre, that gives a brilliant overview on the European museum scene.



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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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.