Strasbourg, 06.12.2011 – The Council of Europe Museum Prize for 2012 has been awarded to the Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum in Cologne (Germany) by the Committee on Culture, Science and Education of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).
The Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum is an anthropological museum of more than a century old, now in a high quality new building in Cologne, Germany. In various themes of the exhibition, but especially in the themes 'prejudice', 'museum', 'living', 'religion', and 'ritual', this museum contributes to bridging cultures, overcoming social and political borders and providing links between historic and contemporary issues.
According to the Committee, the context of European history, which is a colonial history, presented like this museum does, teaches modesty and stimulates self-reflection, by a strong focus on what connects people, instead of what separates them. This museum makes a substantial contribution to intercultural dialogue.
The Council of Europe Museum Prize has been awarded annually since 1977 to a museum judged to have made a significant contribution to the understanding of European cultural heritage.
The winning museum will be presented with a bronze statuette, “La femme aux beaux seins” by Joan Miró, which the museum will keep for a year, as well as a diploma and a cheque for 5,000 euros.
The prize is decided by the Committee on Culture, Science and Education of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) on the basis of a shortlist presented by a jury of the European Museum Forum, and forms part of the European Museum of the Year Awards. Recent winners include Portimão Museum (2010), Zeeuws Museum in the Netherlands (2009) and Norway’s Svalbard Museum (2008).