The POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw won The European Museum of the Year Award (EMYA), the Museum's Press Office informed on Monday.
The prestigious award was presented on April 9 at a ceremony held in San Sebastian, Spain. POLIN was among 49 nominees from 24 countries. It is the first time in almost 40 years of the EMYA history that the award was given to a Polish museum.
The award went to the POLIN Museum in recognition for its unique atmosphere, imaginative interpretation and presentation, creative approach to education and social activity of the place. POLIN Museum presents a throughout and easily accessible history of almost a thousand-year cohabitation between the Poles and the Jews.
Professor Dariusz Stola, director of the museum, says this award is a confirmation that POLIN is among the museums of highest class worldwide.
"The Jury, consisting of outstanding professionals have seen hundreds of museums across Europe, and were captivated by a well-thought permanent exhibition dedicated to the thousand years of Jewish history in Poland, showing the richness of culture and dramatic events from the past,"the professor said.
Stola underlines that the Jury emphasized the Museum's ability to present difficult subjects in the spirit of mutual respect and understanding, as well as an extensive educational program and plenty of cultural events organized, aimed at wide and diverse audience.
The POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews is a museum on the site of the former Warsaw Ghetto. The Hebrew word Polin means, either "Poland" or "rest here" and is related to a legend on the arrival of the first Jews in Poland.
The museum was first opened on April 19, 2013. It features a multimedia narrative exhibition about the Jewish community that flourished in Poland for a thousand years up to the Holocaust.
EMYA was founded in 1977 under the auspices of the Council of Europe, with the aim of recognizing excellence in the European museum scene and encouraging innovative processes in museums in order to focus on the benefit of society rather than on collections solely. POLIN will hold the title for a year.
The Council of Europe Museum Prize 2016, awarded during the same ceremony, went to another Polish Museum, European Solidarity Centre in Gdansk.