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Call for EMYA 2015 now open

We are delighted to announce that the European Museum Forum is opening the European Museum of the Year Award 2015 competition and we hereby invite European museums to submit applications.

The European Museum of the Year Award (EMYA) was founded in 1977 under the auspices of the Council of Europe, with the aim of recognising excellence in the European museum scene and encouraging innovative processes in a museum world which still took the more traditional view to focus exclusively on collections rather than on their use for the benefit of society.

The competition also includes the prestigious Council of Europe Museum Prize.

Please find attached detailed information and guidelines about EMYA and its awards, including the Council of Europe Museum Prize, and the application form for EMYA 2015.

More information about EMYA

The closing date for applications is 20/06/2014

EMYA 2015 Application Form (Word Document)

EMYA 2015 Application form guidelines (PDF)

EMYA 2015 Application supplementary information (PDF)

For more information contact us at emf@icom.museum

European Museum of the Year Award 2014

Museum of Innocence: Turkish Museum is European Museum of the Year 2014

The 2014 European Museum of the Year Award goes to the Museum of Innocence, Istanbul, Turkey . The European Museum Forum presented three further awards and five special commendations to museums demonstrating excellence and innovation in delivering public quality.

Tallinn, Estonia, 17 May 2014 - The European Museum of the Year Award (EMYA) organised by the European Museum Forum (EMF), has been presented this year for the 37th time, with the 2014 Award Ceremony hosted by the Art Museum of Estonia in Tallinn.

The results of the 2014 awards are as follows :

Main Award
The European Museum of the Year Award 2014 goes to the Museum of Innocence, Istanbul, Turkey.
The Museum of Innocence can be seen simply as a historical museum of Istanbul life in the second half of 20th century. It is also, however, a museum created by writer Orhan Pamuk as an integral, object-based version of the fictional love story of his novel of the same name. The Museum of Innocence is meant as a small and personal, local and sustainable model for new museum development. The Museum of Innocence inspires and establishes innovative, new paradigms for the museum sector.

This museum fulfils to the highest degree the notion of “public quality”, from the point of view both of heritage and of the public.

The museum has received a trophy: The Egg by Henry Moore, which it will keep for one year.

Special Commendations
The following museums have received Special Commendations from the EMYA 2014 Judging Panel:

Lennusadam, Estonian Maritime Museum, Tallinn, Estonia

For the impressive maritime atmosphere with spectacular, theatrical exhibition design beautifully integrated into the building and for the evident central position of the visitor at the heart of the online experience which allows them to download information whilst walking through the exhibition.

Bildmuseet, Umeå, Sweden

For creating a modern and innovative museum offering dynamic exhibition continuity and a permanent platform for the promotion of European and global cultural knowledge and multi-layered intercultural dialogue.

Museo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología, A Coruña, Spain

For its ability to communicate scientific and technical concepts in an inspiring way and for its strong commitment to social responsibility in preserving the technical, industrial and scientific heritage of Spain and Galicia.

Museo Occidens / Catedral de Pamplona, Spain

For the outstanding way in which it presents the values that underpin the civilization of the “West” and challenges us to rethink our collective future, and our concepts of democracy, solidarity, justice, peace and freedom.

Kazerne Dossin – Memorial, Museum and Documentation Centre on Holocaust and Human Rights, Mechelen, Belgium,

Flossenbürg Concentration Camp Memorial, Germany

A joint special commendation goes to these two museums for their courage in opening up their institutions to the future, and seeking new “ownership” relationships, within the context of the Second World War. Both these museum memorials – by way of their ideas – have the potential to influence, professionally, their genre of museums.

Other Prizes
The Kenneth Hudson Award 2014 goes to Žanis Lipke Memorial, Riga, Latvia.

This new museum, inaugurated in 2013 by two heads of state, commemorates a human rescue operation devised by Zanis Lipke, a Latvian dockworker and smuggler, who succeeded in saving the lives of over 50 Jews from the Riga Ghetto during the Second World War. The captivating story, brilliant new building and innovative presentation make the visitors’ experience exceptionally rich and deep.

The award, named after the founder of the European Museum Forum, goes to the most unusual, daring and sometimes controversial achievement that challenges common perceptions of the role of museums in society.

The Silletto Prize 2014 goes to the Saurer Museum, Arbon, Switzerland.

The award goes to a museum for work with the local community and involvement of volunteers.

The Silletto Prize, which is awarded to a museum for its work with the local community and the involvement of volunteers, has been won this year by the Saurer Museum.  The Saurer truck company was a major employer in Arbon until its closure in 1987.  Over 6,000 people lost their jobs, an immense blow to the pride, economy and morale of the community. The Saurer Oldtimers Club began to collect and restore Saurer vehicles, and has created a museum with high professional standards entirely through voluntary effort.

The Council of Europe Museum Prize 2014 goes to the Baksi Museum, Bayburt, Turkey.

Embedded in the natural beauty of the Anatolian landscape, the Baksi Museum brings the rural into dialogue with the urban, traditional culture into contact with contemporary lifestyles and brings together traditional crafts with contemporary art.

The prize was given by the Assembly of the Council of Europe at a special ceremony held in Strasbourg on 8 April 2014.

The museum has received a trophy: La femme aux beaux seins by Joan Miró, which it will keep for one year.

European Museum Forum
The European Museum Forum (EMF) is an independent not-for-profit organisation which is a charitable company registered in the UK, dedicated to promoting innovation in museum practice and encouraging exchange of best practice and ideas across Europe. It operates under the auspices of the Council of Europe and is involved in far-ranging activities throughout the cultural field. It is one of the leading organisations in Europe for developing the public quality of European museums and has established this primary position after 37 years of providing its service.

EMF recognises the value of public engagement of museums and fosters excellence through a scheme of annual awards of which the European Museum of the Year Award and the Council of Europe Museum Prize are the main awards. The scheme also includes the Kenneth Hudson Award, the Silletto Prize and other special awards.
EMF stimulates networking and develops projects to foster not only excellence in museum practice but also exchange of knowledge, information and good relations between museum professionals and museum volunteers and supporters.

For more information please visit the EMF website at

For downloading pictures from the ceremony please visit he EMYA2014 web site at:

For more detailed information please download this pdf document.

Read the full press release on the EMF website. A full list of nominated museums can be found on the EMF website at www.europeanmuseumforum.org

For more information about the work of the European Museum Forum and the European Museum of the Year Award competition, go to the EMF website.

The Baksi Museum, Turkey, was awarded the 2014 Council of Europe Museum Prize at a Ceremony held in Strasbourg on 8 April 2014

The Baksi Museum, Turkey, was awarded the 2014 Council of Europe Museum Prize at a Ceremony held in Strasbourg on 8 April 2014.

Mr Kocan, founder of the Baksi Museum, and and Ms Horjan at the ceremony in Strasbourg

This museum is a rare example in Turkey of being privately run by a charitable foundation established by a Turkish artist and academic who was born in the village of Bayburt and who has endowed it with funds for its construction as well as donations of art works. The museum sits on a hilltop in a remote location overlooking the Coruh Valley outside Bayburt in Northern Anatolia, one kilometer from the village. It opened in 2010 and a further structure the ‘depot museum’ was added in 2012. The contents featured are donated contemporary art works and traditional crafts of the area. The museum aims to be what it calls a ’cultural resistance point’ enlivening traditions of ceramics and textiles thereby enabling the local populace to make a living without having to migrate. The museum is not a single structure but a settlement, a complex consisting of the main building and its galleries, the depot museum, workshops, guesthouse, and a café/restaurant. The stimulation of economic life in the region is viewed as a pivotal role.

Names of the winner of the 2014 European Museum of the Year Award, as well as winners of the Silletto Prize and the Kenneth Hudson Award, will be announced at the EMF Assembly and 2014 EMYA Ceremony, which is to be held in Tallinn, Estonia, on 14–17 May 2014.

EMYA 2014 – the event you should not miss

We are delighted to invite you to the European Museum Forum Annual Assembly and European Museum of the Year Award Ceremony 2014, held in Tallinn, Estonia on 14–17 May. During these days, we will have the great pleasure of introducing the best European museums, as well as our diverse cultural heritage. Come and see the excellence of the European museum scene in our professional and friendly atmosphere and take part in the interesting programmes we have prepared.

We are starting with Ecult Dialogue Day, with a programme bearing the title Creating the Magic:Matching Culture and IC. The aim is to identify the technological requirements of museums and cultural heritage owners and present existing technology solutions addressing such needs. Panels and the audience will discuss approaches and processes. Join in and explore the possibilities (the programme is free of charge). The Ecultvalue project is supported by the European Union 7th Framework Support Action Programme and the main objective is to encourage cooperation between museums and ICT, since the whole range of new possibilities for development involves synergies between the two sectors.

The entire EMYA event is supported by the Ministry of Culture of Estonia and includes partnership with ICOM. We do recommend you not miss the event since it is a wonderful opportunity to see dozens of nominated candidates for the most prestigious European prizes. Inspiring stories, wonderful museums and challenging solutions that museum professionals have found to make their museums shine: a worthwhile place to be.

On Saturday morning the European Museum Forum and the Council of Europe are jointly organizing a panel with directors of the past winners of the Council of Europe Museum Prize (2000-2013), and we have also chosen speakers who will address the audience on the International Museum Day theme in cooperation with ICOM.

The Award Ceremony will take place on Saturday evening and the night will be long, since on the same day you will be able to experience Annual Museum Night in one the greatest art museums of Europe.

You are therefore cordially invited to attend the entire EMYA ceremony and you can find all of the details on the web site http://www.emya2014.eu/.

Goranka Horjan

Chair of the EMF Board

Registration now open

Check out the full programme

eCult Dialogue Day programme available now!

EMF Annual Assembly and EMYA 2014 Ceremony Registration Open

EMYA golden logo

14-17 May 2014

Tallinn, Estonia

Closing date for registration is 30 April 2014
Early registration is until 2 March 2014


EMYA 2014 Nominees

EMYA golden logoThe European Museum Forum is delighted to reveal the list of the European Museum of the Year Award 2014 nominees

download (pdf)

The Baksι Museum in Bayburt (Turkey) wins Council of Europe Museum Prize 2014

The European Museum Forum is happy to announce that on 3 December 2013 Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Paris voted for the Baksı Museum (Bayraktar, Bayburt, Turkey) to be awarded the Council of Europe Museum Prize 2014.

The three shortlisted museums for the Prize, as proposed to the Council by the Judging Panel of the European Museum Forum, were the  Baksı Museum, the Bildmuseet in Umeå (Sweden) and the Žaņa Lipkes Memoriāls in Riga (Latvia).

For more information about the Council of Europe Prize and the motives of this decision, please see the COE Press release

The Judging Panel of the European Museum Forum congratulates the Baksı Museum for the excellent work. The Judging Panel appreciated the conception of the museum as a "cultural interaction point", bringing the rural in dialogue with the urban, bringing traditional cultures in contact with contemporary lifestyles and bringing together traditional art and crafts with contemporary art.


Judging Panel Meeting in Paris

The Judging Panel of the European Museum Forum held its meeting on 18-19 November at ICOM Secretariat Office in Paris to determine the nominations for the European Museum of the Year Award 2014 (EMYA).

The winners will be announced at the Award Ceremony traditionally closing the Annual Assembly of the European Museum Forum which will take place on 14-17 May 2014 in Tallinn, Estonia.


EMF Office has a new home

We have moved!

From Monday 23 September 2013, the European Museum Forum will formally operate from new premises based at the ICOM office in Paris, France. Matthew Guichard has been appointed the EMF Administrator for two days per week and all queries should be directed to him from this date.

A formal agreement between Goranka Horjan, Chair of EMF and Hans Martin Hinz, President of ICOM was signed during the ICOM General Meeting in Rio in August. At the beginning of September, a handover meeting took place in Liverpool to start the transfer of the office.

Signing of the agreement EMF Office Transfer
Left image: Hans Martin Hinz, President ICOM; Goranka Horjan, Chair EMF
; Right image from L-R: Yu Zhang (ICOM); Francoise McClafferty (EMF Trust Secretary); Anna Ruchalska (EMF Office Liverpool), Matthew Guichard (EMF Office, Paris)

Please remember to update your contact details. Full details here

Congratulations to Goranka Horjan and Wim de Vos elected to the Executive Council of ICOM

Chair of the Board of Trustees of the European Museum Forum Goranka Horjan and Chair of the Judging Panel Wim de Vos elected to the Executive Council of ICOM

ICOM - International Council of Museums organises general conference every three years during which the world's largest museum association elects officials for its executive bodies. This year the conference was held in Brasil, in Rio de Janeiro, 10th – 18th August 2013 with the topic Museums (memory + creativity) = social change. The European Museum Forum is in close partnership with ICOM and their two prominent members – Goranka Horjan from Croatia, the Chair of the Board of Trustees and Wim de Vos from Belgium, Chair of the Judging Panel were elected to the Executive Council of ICOM. Their three-year mandate will be a good opportunity to strenghten the professional cooperation in the networks which are strategic objectives in both organisations.

THE BEST IN HERITAGE 2013, 19-21 September, Dubrovnik

Warm tribute to European Museum Forum´s award-winners

We are proud to announce that two important contestants in last year´s European Museum of the Year Award Ceremony will participate in The Best in Heritage. The Best in Heritage is an annual event that serves to identify and promote the best museum, heritage and conservation projects in the world. Its conference programme is impressive as always, with laureates from all over the world gathering in the beautiful old city of Dubrovnik, Croatia, from 19-21 September 2013.

The Glasnevin Museum (Dublin, Ireland), winner of the Kenneth Hudson Award 2012;TOPIC: the International Puppet Museum Centre (Tolosa, Spain), winner of Silletto Prize 2012 and the Rautenstrauch-Joest Museum (Cologne, Germany), winner of the Council of Europe Museum Prize 2012, will be representing the European Museum Forum´s winners. They will elaborate on the creative and innovative approach which earned them their awards. And they are paid another warm tribute for their excellent and unique exhibition design and educational activities.