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2016 Ema Awards Winners!


At a ceremony held at the Museum of Industrial Olive-Oil Production of Lesvos, Greece the results of the Micheletti Award and the DASA Award were announced.

THE MICHELETTI AWARD was presented to the director of DEN GAMLE BY, Aarhus, Denmark, Thomas Bloch Ravn. Founded in 1914, this was the first open-air museum in the world to be dedicated to urban cultural history. Since 2005 the museum has worked on a large-scale plan to update the museum to include the 20th century. The first district, Modern Times, aims to depict daily life in the post-World War I period, focusing on the year 1927. The second district, Daily Life in Welfare Denmark, concentrates on the post-World War II period, in 1974. Both districts explain how industrialisation and technology has changed daily life in the 20th century. Shops, homes and private enterprises were researched, acquired and transferred to the museum site from all over Denmark. It was also felt essential that museums today have to address the challenges of modern society. The House of Memory, a three-room flat exclusively for people with dementia, is furnished in the style of the 1950s. It was set up in close cooperation with carers for the elderly and university researchers into psychology and has proved a great success in encouraging people to open up and communicate. Another initiative was documenting the life and living conditions of a homeless man, who lived in the museum for three months in 2012.

The judges said: “Den Gamle By is a pioneering institution in the museological handing of the pressing social questions of our time. It is a museum for the people in the truest sense, showing great courage in addressing relevant subjects which elsewhere often fall victim to a nostalgic-romantic view of history. Den Gamle By makes a visit to the museum a communicative and inspiring experience. It demonstrates strikingly that culture is a wonderful way of reaching out to society.”

Den Gamle By
(Director: Thomas Bloch Ravn)
Viborgvej 2, DK-8000 Aarhus, Denmark
tel: +45 86123188; mail@dengamleby.dk; www.dengamleby.dk


THE DASA AWARD went to MICROPIA, Amsterdam, The Netherlands and was accepted by the director, Haig Balian. Micropia ‘shows the invisible’ and is the first museum in the world dedicated to microbes, with the help of state of the art technology and educational vision, it is part of the foundation Natura Artis Magistra, a scientific academy founded in 1838 and is both a science museum and a zoo. It is housed in a restored building of 1870, which also includes a restaurant and venues for conferences. A laboratory, which is necessary to grow all the microbes presented in Micropia, is an integral part of the museum. A range of specially developed media installations allows visitors to see, explore and experience the world of micro-organisms together and in different ways, through which they themselves become part of the exhibition. This is repeated many times, with different kinds of micro-organisms. The exhibits are surrounded by a dedicated soundscape and by dark surroundings – the rooms are decorated by projecting on the wall images of the microbes. The museum notes that as microbes provide mankind with sustainable solution for all kinds of global issues, such as water, health, energy, food, waste management and renewable materials, educating visitors about microbes and their valuable sustainable applications is a huge contribution to the environment.

The judges said: “This is a very original museum dedicated to the microscopic basis of natural life. In line with the mission of Artis, the exhibition intertwines scientific information and aesthetic values, on an engaging visit for both researchers and the general public. The concept of the museum and its exhibition are a valuable contribution to the development of museological ideas and the structural relationship with scientific experts in the making and in daily life of the exhibition must be underlined. The clear simple story is enhanced by the newest technology and personal engagement of the experts and individuals connected with the exhibition. Micropia is a model of the 21st century museum.”
(Director: Haig Balian)
Artisplein, Plantage Kerklaan 38-40, 1018 CZ Amsterdam,The Netherlands
tel: +31 20 5233680; info@micropia.nl; www.micropia.nl

Den Gamle By, Aarhus, Denmark
Museum der Alltagskultur, Waldenbuch, Germany
Micropia, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
NEMO Science Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, Warsaw, Poland

At the same meeting the winner of the European Museum Academy Prize was announced. The EMA Prize, established in 2010, is not necessarily presented every year and is given by the Board of EMA on the basis of proposals submitted by its Pool of Experts, National Representatives, International Supporters or other groups that are involved in EMA activities.
Its aim is to recognise the outstanding results of organisations, researchers and cultural insitutions in creating pioneering museums or producing studies and carrying on projects of European relevance which are destined to influence the development of museological discourse at the international level.

The 2016 EMA Prize goes to POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw. The EMA Board said: “It is not just an excellent museum but a state of the art cultural institution which reaches diverse publics all over the world. That is why it deserves the title of a ‘Total Museum’. The diversity and variety of its activities and the scope of its aims and goals makes it a unique institution with a worldwide impact. The institution meets the criteria for the European Museum Academy Prize perfectly.” The Prize ceremony will take place during the Annual General Meeting of the Europeana Network Association in Riga, on 8 November 2016 and further information is given in a separate Press Release.

POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews
(Director: Professor Dariusz Stola)
6 Anielewicza Street, 00-157 Warszawa, Poland
tel: +48 22 47 10 305; http://www.polin.pl

THE EUROPEAN MUSEUM ACADEMY (EMA) is a non-profit Foundation established to reflect museums at the international level, to promote research on museography and museology as a high cultural activity, to provide constructive criticism and promote discussion on new exhibitions and museums, and to diffuse museological knowledge and ideas among members of the profession. It aims to promote the conception and development of new as well as of traditional museums as tools of social change. The Micheletti Award is organised to illustrate best museum practice, in co-operation with the Micheletti Foundation, Thirty-eight countries are currently represented within the EMA organisation. www.europeanmuseumacademy.eu.

THE LUIGI MICHELETTI FOUNDATION (Fondazione Biblioteca Archivio Luigi Micheletti) LMF (established in 1981 in Brescia) is a research centre specialising in 20th-century history. Scientific research covers ideologies of the 20th century, wars, the ambivalence of technical progress, industrialization and labour, conspicuous consumption, the origin of environmentalism. The ideological, social and material contemporary history, led by international researches and conferences, is linked to a rich collection: writings, postcards, photos, posters, videos, audio documents, but also objects, furniture and machines. It is in this context that the musil – Museum of Industry and Labour – was created, in order to focus on the recovery of productive plants and whole urban areas.www.fondazionemicheletti.eu; www.musilbrescia.it; www.luigimichelettiaward.eu; www.luigimichelettiaward.eu

DASA WORKING WORLD EXHIBITION (DASA Arbeitswelt Ausstellung) DASA in Dortmund covers the past, present and future worlds of work in an area of about 13.000 m², with 12 exhibition units and three-dimensional exhibits. It is the permanent educational facility of the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Care (Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin) and informs the general public about the world of work, its status for the individual and society, and the importance of tailoring work to human requirements. The relationship between people, work and technology is demonstrated and explained in a variety of ways in the exhibition. The central theme is to establish human values at work, such as good health and dignity.
DASA focuses on people and their physical, intellectual, social and cultural needs. www.dasa-dortmund.de

Contact: Ann Nicholls, EMA Co-ordinator


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