Council of Europe Museum Prize goes to Cologne
Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum receives Europe's highest cultural-cum-political award
The "Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum – Cultures of the World" in Cologne receives Europe's highest cultural-cum-political award: the Council of Europe Museum Prize. The jury was won over not only by the thematically conception but also by the innovative setting created and designed by ATELIER BRÜCKNER. During the awards ceremony in Strasbourg on 24 April in the evening, the jury praised the conception of and setting for the various themes of the exhibition entitled "Der Mensch in seinen Welten" (People in Their Worlds). It is set out in differentiated narrative spaces in an exhibition area covering 3,600 square metres of floor space. Visitors experience the exhibition as a dynamic sequence of individual chapters. Altogether, nine themes are addressed, the main aspects being "Die Welt erfassen" (Understanding the World) and "Die Welt gestalten" (Shaping the World). The spaces dedicated to particular themes have their own individual settings and contain around 2,000 exhibits.
According to museum director Dr. Klaus Schneider, the Council of Europe Museum Prize shows that the Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum has found a convincing way of transporting ethnological themes into the present. When explaining their vote, the jury said that the museum's exhibition succeeded in building bridges between cultures, breaking through social and political barriers and linking the past and present. The exhibition, it continued, teaches modesty and stimulates visitors to engage in critical self-reflection.
The European Museum Forum (EMF) has dedicated itself to the recognition and promotion of outstanding new projects and ideas in the area of museums in all member states of the Council of Europe since 1977. Every year, the Council of Europe is given a shortlist by the EMF, on the basis of which it chooses a museum that stands out especially due to its making a significant contribution to Europe's cultural heritage. Museums from 49 countries compete with each other.
The award comes with a prize amounting to 5,000 euros and the statue "La femme aux beaux seins" by Joan Miró, which remains in the possession of the winner for a year. On Friday, 27 April, it will take up its place of honour among other awards received by the museum. These include the Cologne 2010 Culture Prize and the 2011 red dot design award. In addition, the Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum has been nominated for the "Oscar" in the museum scene, the "European Museum of the Year Award (EMYA)". The prize-giving ceremony will take place in Penafiel, Portugal, on 19 May.
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