40 museums from 17 European countries were competing for this award, where the Museum of Apoxyomenos from Mali Lošinj was the only Croatian entry.
As one of the most important European museum prizes, awarded by the European Museum Forum under the auspices of the Council of Europe, it is dedicated to promoting excellence in innovation and public quality in museum practice, encouraging networking and exchange of ideas and sustainable best practices.
The European Museum of the Year Award 2019 went to Rijksmuseum Boerhaave (Dutch Museum of History of Science and Medicine), while the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe decided to present its Museum Prize 2019 to the Museum für Kommunikation (Communications Museum) from Bern, Switzerland.
Museum of Apoxyomenos received a Special Commendation EMYA 2019, awarded by Ms. Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, member of the jury, and it was received by the director of Lošinj Museum, Ms. Zrinka Ettinger Starčić.
„The nomination for this prestigious award is a huge recognition, seeing that the Museum of Apoxyomenos was the only Croatian museum to join the prestigious company of 40 well-known and impressive museums from the biggest European cities. It is a great honour to receive this award that serves as a validation and guidance for further activities of this unique archaeological and architectural cultural institution in our country, which is dedicated to a single exhibit – a bronze statue of a young athlete, the Apoxyomenos – a masterpiece of Croatian and world heritage (2nd – 1st c. BC.), found in the waters near Lošinj 20 years ago,” said Ms. Ana Kučić, the Mayor of Mali Lošinj.
The awards ceremony took place at the Sarajevo National Theatre to mark the closing of the European Museum of the Year Conference, which gathered over 200 museum experts from over 20 countries. The conference was organised by last year’s winner, War Childhood Museum, in cooperation with the European Museum Forum (EMF).