The European Museum of the Year 2019 Award Ceremony was held on May 25 at the Sarajevo National Theatre, as the final event of a four-day European Museum of the Year (EMYA) Conference.

One of the most important annual European museum events was brought to Sarajevo by the War Childhood Museum, recipient of one of the two most esteemed awards within the European Museum of the Year program - the 2018 Council of Europe Museum Prize.

Head of the EU Delegation to Bosnia and Herzegovina and EU Special Representative in the country, Ambassador Lars-Gunnar Wigemark, commended the War Childhood Museum for its role in educating future generations.

As we see conflicting narratives and even attempts at historical revisionism emerge in public discourse in our societies, we are reminded of the importance of understanding our history, our way of life and our cultural diversity. We are very diverse as Europeans, which is our strength”, said Wigemark.

This year’s European Museum of the Year Award was given to the Rijksmuseum Boerhaave Leiden from the Netherlands.

The exceptional public quality of this museum results from its artful approach to communicating science. Important and beautiful objects are interpreted using the latest technologies and the personal stories of those driven by a passion for the pursuit of knowledge. The result is science with a human face, inspiring curiosity and amazement as well as engaging a wide public in debates on important scientific and ethical questions issues of our time”, reads the statement published on EMYA’s official web site.

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

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European Union Delegation to Bosnia and Herzegovina underlined that museums play an invaluable part in enriching and documenting the diverse and evolving cultural life of Europe and the EU.

Promoting diversity through international cultural relations is also an important part of the EU’s role as a global actor. The EU has invested heavily in the preservation of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s cultural heritage, with projects worth over EUR 15 million having been implemented already. Going forward, the EU will remain engaged with cultural institutions across Bosnia and Herzegovina to promote important cultural events and to preserve the country’s heritage for the benefit of all its citizens, and Europe as a whole”, the statement concludes.

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