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Russian nominee for the European Museum of the Year Award

Russian nominee for the European Museum of the Year Award

The Perm Museum, situated in the former closed city of Perm, some 1,100 km eastnortheast of Moscow, at the foot of the Ural mountains and opened in 2011 with a sophisticated learning programme spanning a modern exhibition, public events, a publishing agenda and an annual paleontological conference aimed at children has already gained recognition and fame in Russia attracting over 50 000 visitors annually. The new Museum explores the Permian period of geological prehistory (299 - 251 million years ago). Within the local government owned building the Museum presents prehistoric skeletons, finds from excavations, multimedia stations and temporary exhibitions relating to the local oil industry, itself a product of that prehistoric geology. The Museum’s purpose is to raise contemporary interest in global paleontological discoveries in the context of regional history. It aims to help shape a geoenvironmental consciousness in visitors and local residents, by triggering interest in the earth sciences.

In 2013 the Museum won the Potanin Foundation grant within the Program A Changing Museum in a Changing World for its project Discover the Permian Period. And in August 2014 a member of the jury of the European Museum of the Year Award visited it to see the exposition, overview its educational programs and multimedia projects, meet the museum team members. According to the Award regulations in autumn 2014 the jury could revisit some of the nominee museums incognito. In November in Paris the nominees list was announced consisting of 42 museums from 21 countries including such museums as the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo, the State History Museum in Moscow and others. On May 13-16 Galsgo will host the European Museum Forum where all the nominees will be introduced and the winner will be announced.

The European Museum of the Year Award (EMYA) was founded in 1977 under the auspices of the Council of Europe, with the aim of recognising excellence in the European museum scene and encouraging innovative processes in a museum world which still took the more traditional view to focus exclusively on collections rather than on their use for the benefit of society. According to its founder Kenneth Hudson, the most innovative and bold museum changes take place in new small scale museums with young professional and dedicated teams, that is why small regional or private museums which opened in the last three years or reopened after a major restructuring can equally take part in the competition along with national or state museums.

Russian museums have already won several special awards of the comptition: in 1997 the Krasnoyarsk Museum Center was specially mentioned by the jury, as well as the Museum of Stepan Pisakhov in 2011, and the Museum of the Lost Taste in Kolomna in 2012.