Special Commendation in the European Museum of the Year Awards
The Helsinki City Museum was awarded a Special Commendation in the international European Museum of the Year competition.
The jury notes in their reasons that the City Museum is a warm and easily approachable museum, which has incorporated cooperation with the citizens as a significant principal. According to the jury, the City Museum is an innovative learning environment which is in constant interaction with nostalgia and difficult topics, and points out that a museum visitor can have many roles and that shared experiences, such as a love of the city, may connect people.
A tough group of 40 museums from 22 countries competed for the title of the European Museum of the Year. Other participants from Finland were Museum Centre Vapriikki and the Lenin Museum in Tampere. Vapriikki received the Special Commendation for Sustainability. The London Design Museum was selected as the winner, and the Kenneth Hudson Award was given to the Estonian National Museum in Tartu. The awards were given on 12 May 2018 in Warsaw.
The Helsinki City Museum, opened two years ago, has received several awards. In 2017, it was awarded the Finnish Museum of the Year title, and it won the Museums + Heritage Awards international series and the public sector service innovation series of the Quality Innovation Awards, as well as several others.
‘I’m very happy about this acknowledgement in a tough competition. It tells us that the City Museum’s innovative touch, which shakes the traditional roles and means of doing things, is seen as special even in the European museum field. I find it great that the experiences and love of the city which connect the city’s residents were raised as one of the criteria. I was also happy about Helsinki and other Finnish museums receiving the attention they deserved in the competition. Our success is sure to encourage other museums to question, experiment, and renew themselves’, says Museum Director Tiina Merisalo from the Helsinki City Museum.
The Helsinki City Museum was opened on the corner of the Senate Square on 13 May 2016. After two operating years, over 770,000 residents and tourists have visited the museum. Many new kinds of visitors have also found the museum: those just stopping by, those looking for a quiet place to work, and those seeking new kinds of experiences.
The City Museum is designed as an extensive experience, where the everyday city life in Helsinki is visible not only in the exhibitions, but also the lobby, meeting facilities, shop, and toilets. At the moment, the museum hosts the Helsinki Bites exhibition, Children’s Town, and the Time Machine virtual experience, as well as the Helsinki Clubbing exhibition, which presents the club culture in Helsinki over three decades.