The Vukovar City Museum won the Silleto Prize at a ceremony on Saturday evening in San Sebastian, Spain, during which the European Museum Forum conferred its awards, including the European Museum of the Year Award (EMYA), to this year's winners.
The Silletto Prize prize goes to a museum which has in the past two years demonstrated excellence in involving its local community in planning and developing museum and heritage projects or has attracted outstanding support from its work with volunteers with the goal to enhance the public quality of the museum, the European Museum Forum reports on its web site.
The museum in the eastern Croatian city is praised for its cooperation with the local community.
"In 1991, during the war in former Yugoslavia, the Eltz castle on the bank of the Danube, that housed the Vukovar City Museum, was almost completely destroyed. Since 1997, after the end of the war, the museum, which had existed as a museum in exile, has been an active force in reconstructing social and cultural life in Vukovar. Barely 17 years after the end of the armed conflict, the Vukovar Museum presents tragedies of the past as things to be avoided in future, not in a spirit of revenge or glorifying military action, but concentrated on people’s suffering and the need for peace-keeping," according to the explanation of the Judging Panel.
As many as 49 nominees from 24 member countries of the Council of Europe applied for the European Museum of the Year Award 2016.
The European Museum of the Year Award 2016 went to POLIN: Museum of the History of Polish Jews, Warsaw, Poland.
The Council of Europe Museum Prize and the accompanying trophy, "La femme aux beaux seins" by Joan Miro, went to the European Solidarity Centre, Gdansk, Poland.
The Kenneth Hudson Award, given in recognition of the most unusual and daring achievement that challenges common perceptions of the role of museums in society, went to Micropia, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, this year.