On January 19, the Museum Council of the Ministry of Culture announced the winners of the Museum Rats in ten categories at the Estonian annual museum awards gala, which took place at the Kumu Art Museum. The award for the best permanent exhibition and the big Museum Rat went to the Estonian Theatre and Music Museum for their exhibition “Stories and Songs”.
According to Minister of Culture Indrek Saar, museums have an important role to play during this European Year of Cultural Heritage. “The annual museum awards once again display brilliant quality and are lively proof of the fact that our cultural heritage is sustainable. However, behind each good museum you will find a community – it is thanks to you and for you that museums are developed. I would be glad to hand over a Museum Rat to all of you as well,” said Minister Indrek Saar, in recognition of the museum communities. This year, 80 entries were submitted to the competition, out of which the evaluation committee chose 30 nominees. Of those nominees 10 award winners were selected. For already the tenth time, Enterprise Estonia (EAS) also handed out a special award.
The winners of the 2017 museum awards are:
- The Award for the Best Permanent Exhibition went to the Estonian Theatre and Music Museum for their exhibition “Stories and Songs”.
- The Award for the Best Exhibition of 2017 went to the Estonian National Museum’s exhibition “Folk Customs are the Norm”.
- The Award for Best Conservation Work went to Merily Paomets and Sirje Säär from the Art Museum of Estonia for the conservation of an oval oil pastel painting titled “Girl with a dog”, estimated to be from the end of the 1760s, and its frame.
- The 2017 title for the Best Curator of a Collection went to Jaanika Anderson and Ester Oras from the University of Tartu museum, for their project on the interdisciplinary studies of mummies and for disseminating the results to different target groups.
- The title for the Best Heritage Protector in a Museum went to Aune Mark from the Estonian Open Air Museum, for a collection of materials from a series of seminars on materials used in construction and knots for specialists in old buildings.
- The Promoters of Museum Education of the year were Toomas Koitmäe, Siim Randoja and Luize-Ingrid Klimova from the Estonian Sports and Olympics Museum for their interactive educational material “Everybody Move!”.
- The Best Scientific Publication in 2017 was compiled by Oliver Orro – “Kopli Sonata. A Russian-Baltic Ship Factory”.
- The Best Scientific Event was organised by the museum of the University of Tartu. They were recognised for their international conference “On the Border of the Russian Empire: German University of Tartu and it first Rector Georg Friedrich Parrot”.
- The Best Marketing in 2017 award went to Helena Haller and Evelin Värk from the Estonian Open Air Museum for their initiative “Knit Yourself into History”.
- The Museum Developer 2017 award went to Sander Olo and Kairi Põldsaar from the Estonian Museum of Natural History for their virtual reality film “Mystical Primitive Sea”.
- The Estonian Tourist Board of Enterprise Estonia (EAS) gave the Rat Trap award for the most visitor friendly museum to the Natural History Museum of the University of Tartu.
According to Director of the Estonian Tourist Board Tarmo Mutso, in recent years Estonian nature has been introduced abroad as an attraction for visitors and, of course, it is wonderful to see that besides experiences gained in the wild, there is such a valuable place where nature enthusiasts can find out about nature.
The winner of each category receives a monetary award in the amount of 1,300 euros from the Cultural Endowment of Estonia and it can be used for participating either at the conference “The Best in Heritage” in Dubrovnik, Croatia, at the European Museum Forum Annual Conference, for a study trip to the museum that received the European Museum of the Year Award, or for a trip during the competition year to further one’s professional skills and knowledge.
All winners receive small Museum Rat sculptures (created by sculptor Tiiu Kirsipuu). The big Museum Rats awarded for the Best Exhibition and the Best Permanent Exhibition will be passed on to the new winners next year.
Photos of the winning entries are available here.For more information contact:
Chief Specialist of the Cultural Heritage Department of the Ministry of Culture email@example.com