The European Museum of the Year Award 2012
The European Museum of the Year Award 2012 goes to the Madinat al-Zahra Museum, Cordoba, Spain. The museum has also received a trophy: The Egg by Henry Moore, which it will keep for one year.
The Museum encompasses the important archaeological site of the 10th century capital for Muslim al-Andalus and a new museum building that serves as a research centre, visible storage, conservation and restoration facility, and as a space for exhibition and interpretation of a unique collection. The museum and the partially recovered and restored site document a magnificent, complex city, its supporting infrastructure, buildings and gardens, as well as the social organisation and everyday life of its 10,000 inhabitants. The Madinat al-Zahra Museum functions as a visual memory of the mixed and plural past of Andalusia, and thereby as a potential bridge between different cultures also in contemporary Europe. In every aspect of its work this museum displays a high level of excellence.
The Council of Europe Museum Prize goes to Rautenstrauch-Joest Museum – Kulturen der Welt (Cultures of the World), Cologne, Germany.
The museum demonstrates a commitment to serve its multicultural public – adults and children alike – both in its exhibitions and in educational activities. All visitors will find something to admire and reflect upon. The museum is not only a window on world cultures but also, and predominantly, a place showing how cultures are formed and how they perceive one another, through exposure to one another. The museum holds up a mirror to prejudice and takes its visitors on a journey, which is simultaneously beautiful, exciting, clever and sophisticated.
The Rautenstrauch-Joest Museum maintains an open and inclusive policy, aimed at bridging cultures and transcending social and political borders. Its creative use of cutting-edge information and communication technology establishes the conditions necessary to ensure access by the widest public possible.
The Prize has been awarded by the Committee