13 May 2023, by Victoria Séveno

Once again, a Dutch museum has been featured in the European Museum of the Year awards, with Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam receiving a Special Commendation from the European Museum Forum (EMF) for its commitment to openness and accessibility.

European Museum Forum honours Dutch museum

Hosted by the EMF, the European Museum of the Year awards recognise various museums across the continent under a number of different categories. For example, the Council of Europe Museum Prize – which this year went to the Workers Museum in Denmark – focuses on the values of democracy and human rights, while the Kenneth Hudson Award – awarded to 23,5 Hrant Dink Site of Memory in Turkey – goes to the museum which is the most courageous in exploring what a museum can achieve.

After 2021 saw the Naturalis Biodiversity Centre take home the main award of the night, and the Museum of the Mind won in 2022, 2023 sees the L’Etno, Valencian Museum of Ethnology in Spain take home the prestigious international title of European Museum of the Year.

Other museums recognised during this year’s awards ceremony include two Swiss museumsthe Burgrain Agricultural Museum and the Abbey Church Museum – the Thackray Museum of Medicine in England, and Chillida Leku in Spain.

Special Commendation for Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen

While sadly no Dutch museum walked home with any awards during the ceremony in Barcelona on May 6, one museum in Rotterdam received a Special Commendation from the EMF. Located near the heart of the city and known for its uniquely recognisable architecture, Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen was highlighted for its commitment to “promoting openness, accessibility, and transparency through its innovative approach.”

EMF explains that the museum – which displays various unique art collections and happens to be one of the oldest museums in the Netherlands – “challenges the traditional notion of an art museum and whom it is meant for,” and allows visitors to experience “art collections, conservation practices, and the concept of an open city storage in a completely novel way.”

In a statement published on Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen’s website, the museum said it was “proud and honoured by this recognition”. 

Thumb: R. de Bruijn_Photography via Shutterstock.com.

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