• European Museum of the Year Award 2016

  • Call for EMYA 2016 now open!
    We are delighted to announce that the European Museum Forum is opening the European Museum of the Year Award 2016 competition and we hereby invite European museums to submit applications.
    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 2016.


    The Purpose of the European Museum of the Year Award Scheme
    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.
    It was an adventurous initiative, with the founders generously investing their prestige and their expertise, together with a lot of time and energy for something never experienced before on this European scale.
    EMYA has had a positive influence on the lives of a number of museum professionals and has brought to centre stage small museums with highly innovative contents, which otherwise would not have received recognition at the European level. EMYA through the work of EMF has also directed the attention of public authorities to initiatives originating in their own countries, which previously were almost neglected and not recognised at the level they deserved.
    Within the EMYA scheme all museums are equal whether public or private, small or large. Whatever their subject or their nationality, they are assessed on the basis of what is considered outstanding public quality.
    EMYA has proved to be the longest running and most prestigious museum award in Europe and is an important occasion for promoting innovative approaches in the museum sector throughout the whole continent.
    The Awards
    The EMF Judging Panel is looking for enterprise and innovation that enhances the public quality of the museum. The judges seek to identify new developments which are likely to have a significant influence in the national and international museum field.
    The European Museum of the Year Award
    This award goes to a museum which contributes most directly to attracting audiences and satisfying its visitors with unique atmosphere, imaginative interpretation and presentation, a creative approach to education and social responsibility.
    Past winners have been both large and small museums, but all developed something which was special and changed the standards of quality in museums within Europe.

    The Council of Europe Museum Prize
    The Council of Europe Museum Prize is a unique award intended to highlight the need to preserve and promote the European cultural heritage as a factor uniting the Council of Europe’s 47 member states. It involves recognition of the excellence displayed by the winning museums in the approach they take to museum work, while complying fully with the EMYA criteria, and helps to give added dynamism and variety to the European museum sector.
    This prestigious prize is awarded based on the recommendations of the EMYA Judging Panel, by the Committee on Culture, Science and Education of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to a museum which puts particular emphasis on a clearly understandable presentation of a European perspective, showing initiative in presenting themes of European relevance and adherence to the key values and priorities of the Council of Europe.
    The Kenneth Hudson Award
    This is an award in honour of the founder of EMYA. The award goes to a museum, person, project or a group of people who have demonstrated the most unusual, daring and, perhaps, controversial achievement that challenges common perceptions of the role of museum in the society and carries forward the spirit of Kenneth Hudson. The Kenneth Hudson Award winner is chosen by the EMF Board of Trustees, and is not necessarily selected from the pool of the EMYA applicants.
    The Silletto Prize
    This prize goes to a museum which has in the past two years demonstrated excellence in involving its local community in planning and developing museum and heritage projects or has attracted outstanding support from its work with volunteers with the goal to enhance the public quality of the museum.
    Special Awards
    A number of special awards are also given to museums that have developed a new and innovative aspect of their public service and from which other European museums can learn.

    • Any new museum or any museum substantially renovated or redeveloped, can apply.
    • Temporary or 'semi-permanent' exhibitions can be the subject of an application. It has to be noted that museums/exhibitions need to be open/completed in time for the judging visit (summer – early autumn 2015) and have to remain accessible until at last the end of May 2016.
    • Museums/exhibitions opened for more than 3 years at the moment of the application, are not eligible.
    1. Application form
    The EMYA 2014 Application Form is provided in a separate file that should be completed electronically.
    Please make sure that you also provide a description of the project in a separate document (maximum 1,500 words) and submit this in conjunction with the application form.
    The application should be submitted in English.
    2. Supporting material to accompany the application 
    Supporting material should be sent separately on a DVD or memory stick, either by post, to the EMF Office, or via a file-sharing website. Please carefully read the guidelines below. 
    If you intend to submit your images and other supporting material via a file-sharing website you should send EMF a notification of the upload (to

    The completed application form should be accompanied by an entry fee of 500 EURO.
    Please note that your participation in the annual EMF Assembly and EMYA Award ceremony will be subject to additional costs including registration, travel and accommodation. These costs are not included in the competition entry fee.
    Payments should be made by bank transfer. Please note that the applicant must pay for any bank charges incurred. Please make sure that your payment is identifiable, by including the name of the museum and the town in which it is situated as a payment 
    reference. (A copy of transfer instructions should also be included in the supporting material.)

    Please note that the application fee is non-refundable.
    Bank: HSBC Bank plc
    Branch: 99-101 Lord Street, Liverpool, United Kingdom, L2 6PG
    Location: GB
    EURO account
    Account name: European Museum Forum
    Account number: 71141039
    IBAN: GB11MIDL40051571141039
    Terms of Agreement for Award Winners

    The EMYA 2016 Application Form should be submitted no later than 15 June 2015.
    Please note that we can not accept entries after this deadline.
    Please send the application form 
    By email to:
    By post to: European Museum Forum
    ICOM General Secretariat
    22 rue de Palestro
    75002 Paris, France

    For further information please contact EMF NC in Georgia: 
    EMYA 2016 Application Form
    EMYA 2016 Application form guidelines


    Winner of the European Museum of the Year Award 2015 announced in Glasgow, Scotland. 16 May 2015

    The European Museum of the Year Award (EMYA), organised by the European Museum Forum (EMF), was presented at the 2015 Award Ceremony hosted by the Riverside Museum in Glasgow. The award scheme celebrates 38 year. The 2015 Awards were announced on 16 May, Saturday, during a ceremony opened by EMF Chair Goranka Horjan and Councillor Archie Graham, Deputy Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow Life. The gala ceremony was attended by over 200 people from 29 European countries.
    The results of the 2015 Awards are as follows.
    The European Museum of the Year Award 2015 goes to Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    The Council of Europe Museum Prize 2015 - MuCEM: Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations, Marseille, France.
    The Silletto Prize 2015 - The Familistère at Guise, France
    The Kenneth Hudson Award 2015 - The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum, Geneva, Switzerland
    Special Commendations 2015 - The Finnish Nature Centre Haltia, Haltia, Finland (Special Commendation for Sustainability). 
    Red Star Line Museum, Antwerp, Belgium
    MUSE: Museo delle Scienze (Science Museum), Trento, Italy
    Mary Rose Museum, Portsmouth, UK
    Vorarlberg Museum, Vorarlberg, Austria

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    Ministry of Culture and Monuments Protection of Georgia, ICOM National Committee in Georgia, Georgian Museums Association, Culturological Research Association