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European Museum of the Year Award
The European Museum of the Year Award and the series of related awards are given out each year at the annual conference and award ceremony.
The rigorous judging process involving visits to up to 60 museums culminates in an annual conference with the participation of 250 - 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.
With EMYA’s accumulated over 40 years of traditions and insights into the societal and community needs, which drive, create, develop and sustain museums as crucial civic spaces for the exploration of Europe’s heritage, the conference serves as a continuous benchmark for innovation and best practices for the sector.
About the Host
After many years leading a nomadic existence, moving our offices (and our archives) to different cities across Europe, EMF/EMYA finally found a long-term home in 2018 in Portimão, in Portugal’s Algarve.
The Municipality of Portimão is committed to democratic access to culture, which was reflected in Portimão Museum winning the Council of Europe Museum Prize in 2010. Dedicated to cultural participation in Europe, the Municipality’s partnership with EMYA is a way to build on the success of their innovative museum and support the development of museums across the continent. The partners agreed that the Municipality, through the museum, would provide administrative support for the EMF and a home for the EMF/EMYA Archive.
In recognition of this support, the EMF has created the Portimão Museum Prize for a museum that, in the opinion of the jury, is the most welcoming and friendly of that year’s nominated candidates. These are very important values for Portimão, which welcomes hundreds of thousands of tourists every year. The main quality the prize celebrates is a friendly atmosphere of welcome so that all visitors, no matter what their background, feel they belong in the museum. All elements of the museum – its human qualities and physical environment – contribute to the feeling of welcome, as do events and activities in and round the museum.