The European Museum of the Year Award (EMYA) was founded in 1977, by the now legendary Kenneth Hudson and Richard Hoggart, under the auspices of the Council of Europe, with the aim of recognising excellence in the European museum sector, and of encouraging innovative processes in a museum world, which still took the more traditional view of focusing on collections rather than on their use for the benefit of society.

EMYA has had a significant influence on the lives of many museum professionals and has brought to centre stage museums with highly innovative approaches, which came to have a significant influence in the national and international museum field. Within the EMYA scheme all museums are equal, whether public or private, small or large. And whatever their subject or their nationality, they are assessed on the basis of their outstanding public quality and innovative practices.

Since 1977, the European Museum Forum, as the longest running and most prestigious museum award scheme, has presented  the European Museum of the Year Award and a series of related awards, and functioned as a continuous benchmark for best practices for the sector. Innovation, public quality and accessibility are the absolute criteria for the EMYA award and constitute the shared denominators for all the awards in the scheme. 

Every year, a rigorous judging process involves visits to up to 50 museums, culminating in an annual conference with up to 300 leading museum professionals, at which the candidates present their museums, the winners are announced, and the underlying values and innovative ideas in the European museum field are discussed, renewed and reinterpreted.


The presentation of Polish culture is one of the important tasks carried out by Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and institutions subordinate to it.

Culture is an important factor of social development. By participating in culture and thanks to cultural exchange, on the one hand, we create our identity, the respect for tradition and a sense of belonging to a community and its history, and, on the other, we are more innovative and tolerant.

Poland pays great attention to cultural interactions with other countries, treating them as a key component of interpersonal relationships, which often become the catalyst for social change and the process of democratization. Cooperation should not take place only in the institutional dimension. Individual artists, their work and the activities of the civil society play a vital role in it. It is important that people all over the world can systematically discover projects which promote Polish culture.



The European Museum Forum (EMF) is dedicated to promoting innovation in museum practice and to encouraging exchange of best practice across Europe. The EMF provides, as a charity registrered in the UK, the legal and organizational framework for the European Museum of the Year Award scheme.  It stimulates networking and the professional exchange of ideas within the sector and a continuous exploration of the social and cultural impact of museums.

EMF is supported by the Council of Europe and a number of national, European cultural authorities, by the ICOM Endowment Fund, as well as by a number of private sector sponsors.

Further information about EMF and the EMYA scheme can be found on www.europeanmuseumforum.info


NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR MUSEUMS AND PUBLIC COLLECTIONS is a state agency, established in 2011 by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland. The Institute is responsible for creating and implementing state policy for museums and assisting them in their development.

It encourages cooperation among museum professionals and all those who support the development of modern museology in Poland to generate and influence social change.

• to research and initiate new legal solutions for museums and movable heritage,
• to support museums in all scopes of their activity,
• to develop an integrated database on museums and collections (digitisation),
• to gather and disseminate knowledge.



The Council of Europe advocates freedom of expression and of the media, freedom of assembly, equality, and the protection of minorities. It has launched campaigns on issues such as child protection, online hate speech, and the rights of the Roma, Europe's largest minority. The Council of Europe helps member states fight corruption and terrorism and undertake necessary judicial reforms. Its group of constitutional experts, known as the Venice Commission, offers legal advice to countries throughout the world.

The Council of Europe promotes human rights through international conventions, such as the Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence and the Convention on Cybercrime. It monitors member states' progress in these areas and makes recommendations through independent expert monitoring bodies. Council of Europe member states no longer apply the death penalty.

The Council of Europe includes 47 member states, 28 of which are members of European Union.



POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews presents the 1000-year long history of Jewish life in Poland. Museum is located at the heart of the former Jewish quarter, turned by the Germans into the Warsaw Ghetto during the Second World War.

Visit the POLIN core exhibition and embark on a journey through time - from the Middle Ages until today.

Experience the history by way of film and suond, images and objects, historical documents and maps. Aside from the core exhibition, you will find a full program of temporary and traveling exhibitions, music, theater and film programs, lectures, workshops and special activities for visitors of all ages. We make sure there is always something new to inspire you!



The European Museum of the Year Award 2018 goes to the DESIGN MUSEUM, London, United Kingdom.

The museum received the EMYA trophy, Mother and Child: Egg Form by Henry Moore, which it will keep for one year.

In its unique building this inspiring, socially-aware museum is an exceptional achievement, celebrating and exploring the magic of human creativity, the objects, ideas skills and forces that shape our lives. Without losing its identity, this museum was able to renew and strengthen its public values, reopening with a wide range of new exhibitions along with an intense program of activities, providing an impressive and memorable experience for its visitors of all ages, achieving accessibility of the highest quality.

It sets its collections in the context of global technological and cultural knowledge, providing a high level of interactivity, establishing an important democratic and multi-layered intercultural dialogue, with a significant social impact in the community.

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe decided to present its Museum Prize 2018 to the WAR CHILDHOOD MUSEUM in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The War Childhood Museum is a powerful example of research-led, human-centred, story-driven museum which addresses one of the vital issues of our time. By focusing on children’s experiences, the War Childhood Museum has set ambitious goals in becoming a very important platform for communal healing and reconciliation and an effective medium for communicating children’s resilience during times of war.

It offers empowerment, self-awareness and catharsis to people who suffered deep traumas and it connects past childhood memories of war with current ones. In its advocacy of peace, reconciliation and the value of cultural diversity it embodies in an inspirational way the humane and democratic values of the Council of Europe.

The Council of Europe museum award ceremony took place on 24 April 2018 in Strasbourg. The winner received a bronze statuette, La femme aux beaux seins by Joan Miró that it will keep for one year.

The Silletto Prize recognises excellence in working with the local community and involving volunteers.

It was awarded to the BETINA MUSEUM OF WOODEN SHIPBUILDING, Betina, Croatia.

The Kenneth Hudson Award is given in recognition of the most unusual and daring achievement that challenges common perceptions of the role of museums in society.

It was awarded to the ESTONIAN NATIONAL MUSEUM, Tartu, Estonia.

Special Commendations

The following museums have received Special Commendations from EMYA 2018 Judging Panel:

Lascaux IV- International Centre For Cave Art, Dordogne, France

Helsinki City Museum, Helsinki, Finland

Rainis and Aspazija’s Museum, Riga, Jurmala and Dunava, Latvia

Museo dell’ Opera del Duomo, Florence, Italy

Museum University Of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain

Museo Egizio, Turin, Italy

Special Commendation for Sustainability

Vapriikki Museum Centre, Tampere, Finland



Wednesday, 9.05.2018

Day 1

POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews
12.00 - 17.00 Registration
» Organized tours through the museum's temporary and core exhibition
19.00 - 21.00 Reception with welcome speeches in Warsaw Rising Museum

Thursday, 10.05.2018

Day 2

POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews

9.00 Opening of the EMYA 2017

9.20 – 10.15 The Values of the Council of Europe Museum Prize
A panel of three previous winners of the Council of Europe Prize discuss what it means to create a museum rooted in social and humanitarian values of democracy, of human rights, tolerance, and of bridging cultures:
» Dr David Fleming, Museum of Liverpool, UK, CoE prize winner 2013
» Prof. Dr. Husamettin Kocan, Baksi Museum, Bayburt, Turkey, CoE prize winner 2014
» Jacques Martial, Memorial ACTe, Caribbean Centre for the Expression and Memory of African Slave Trade and Slavery, Guadeloupe, France, CoE prize winner 2017

Candidates present their museums and discuss shared themes:
» Museums and Communities
» Museums, Art Galleries and National Identities
» Storytelling in Museums
» Research on Display
» Interpreting Art and Design
» City Museums

18.30 Buses leaving for The Royal Łazienki Museum

19.00 - 21.00 Reception, The Royal Łazienki Museum

Friday 11.05.2018

Day 3

POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews
9.00-9.45 Keynote Address
» David Anderson, Board Member of EMF, Director General of the National Museums of Wales, former Director of Learning of the V&A, London, former president of the Museums Association
Candidates present their museums and discuss shared themes
» Museums and Politics
» Transport Museums
» Museums and Archaeology
» Museums of Individual Artists/Writers
» Museums and Big Ideas
» Private Foundation Museums
18.30 Buses leaving for the National Museum in Warsaw
19.00 - 21.00 Reception,  The National Museum in Warsaw

Saturday, 12.05.2018

Day 4

POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews
9.00 – 10.30: Final speeches and handing out of certificates
11.00 – 13.30: Workshops for interested participants
A series of parallel workshop facilitated by outstanding European museums from the awards of previous years will give participants an opportunity to learn from and to discuss the lead museum’s experience and the particular challenges in their process of renewal.
» POLIN Museum, Warsaw
» The Whitworth, Manchester
» The War Childhood Museum, Sarajevo
» MEG, Ethnographic Museum, Geneva
» The European Solidarity Centre, Gdansk
» The Silesian Museum, Katowice
Afternoon: Free time
19.00-23.00 Award Ceremony. POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews



EMF office

Sara Minotti, EMF Administrator:
E-mail: emf@europeanforum.museum

Host organization in Poland

EMYA 2018 office

POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews
6 Mordechaja Anielewicza St.
00-157 Warsaw, POLAND

tel. +48 572 337 709 (1 PM - 4 PM)
e-mail: office.emya2018@polin.pl

VIP service

National Institute for Museums and Public Collections
7 Goraszewska St.
02-910 Warsaw, POLAND




I consent to and authorize POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, registered office in Warsaw being ul. Anielewicza 6, 00-157 Warszawa, to retain my personal details for the purpose of registration to the Congress and 2018 EMYA Gala.

POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews advises that personal details will be processed in accordance with the Act dated 29th August 1997, regarding the protection of personal details (Dz.U. 2015, poz. 2135, ze zm.). I declare that I have been informed about my right to inspect my personal details and to demand that my personal details cease to be retained. I provide these details voluntarily.