Orhan Pamuk st the Musuem of Innocence

Museum of Innocence wins European Museum of the Year Award

Rebecca Atkinson, 20.05.2014
Award presented at ceremony in Tallinn
The Museum of Innocence in Istanbul, Turkey, has won the European Museum of the Year Award (Emya) at ceremony during the European Museum Forum’s annual assembly in Tallinn, Estonia.

The museum, which was created by writer Orhan Pamuk as an object-based version of the fictional love story of his novel of the same name, was presented with a trophy, the Egg by Henry Moore, at the ceremony.

The judges praised the museum’s sustainable model and said “its radical, in-depth exploration of the psychological meaning of the collecting process and its insight into material objects as metaphors and as carriers of emotions, memories and cultures […] inspires and establishes innovative, new paradigms for the museum sector.”

The European Museum Forum recognises the value of public engagement of museums, and fosters excellence through a number of awards.

The Silletto Prize for work with the local community and involvement of volunteers was presented to the Saurer Museum in Arbon, Switzerland. The museum houses a collection of the Saurer truck company’s vehicles and goods, and is entirely run by volunteers.

The Kenneth Hudson Award, which recognises activities that challenge common perceptions of the role of museums in society, was presented to the Žanis Lipke Memorial in Riga, Latvia, for a partnership project involving a script writer, an architect, a designer, an artist and a composer.

The museum opened last year to tell the story of a Latvian dockworker and smuggler who saved the lives of more than 50 Jews from the Riga ghetto during the second world war.

Four museums received special commendations from the Emya 2014 judging Panel: Lennusadam (Seaplane Harbour) Estonian Maritime Museum, Tallinn, Estonia;  Bildmuseet, Umeå, Sweden; Museo Nacional De Ciencia Y Tecnología (Muncyt), A Coruña, Spain; and Museo Occidens/Catedral De Pamplona, Pamplona, Spain.

The Kazerne Dossin Memorial, Museum and Documentation Centre on Holocaust and Human Rights in Mechelen, Belgium, and the Flossenbürg Concentration Camp Memorial, Germany, were jointly commended for “their courage in opening up their institutions to the future, and seeking new ‘ownership’ relationships”.

The Council of Europe Museum Prize was presented to the Baksi Museum in Bayburt, Turkey, by the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in April.

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