This is an Award focused on contemporary history and ist scientific, industrial and social heritage. Originally the Micheletti Award was established by the Micheletti Foundation and Kenneth Hudson in 1996, for the recognition of excellence in the specific sector of European science and industry museums.
Applications are welcomed from scientific, technical and industrial museums and science centres, both long-established and recently opened.
Today the scheme is also open to museum of 20th century history (social, political, military) to reflect the wider scope of the Micheletti Foundation work.
The Micheletti Foundation has recently established an internet site in English specifically devoted to the Micheletti Award where you can find any information concerning applications, former winners and the history of this scheme:
At a ceremony held in the Salone Vanvittelliano at the Palazzo della Loggia in Brescia, The National Archives of the Netherlands was announced as the winner of the 2015 Micheletti Award. The trophy was presented to the Archives’ representatives, Astrid Hertog and Nancy Hovingh. Representing the Luigi Micheletti Foundation was René Capovin.
The National Archives of The Netherlands is an authority in The Hague under the Dutch government with the primary task of collecting and preserving records from the government and all its agencies as a documentary-based guarantee for the legal rights and obligations to the population and public authorities. Since 2002 the National Archives has pursued a new strategy in its approach towards the public handling of the nation’s memory, intending to make it more accessible to a much wider public through increased democratisation and participation. A new Visitor Centre was opened in October 2013 by King Willem-Alexander, with a large exhibition entitled ‘The Memory Palace’. This aimed to present the extensive archival collection in an innovative, surprising way, with 11 stories of varying length taking the visitor on a journey through The Netherlands from the Middle Ages to the 1970s. Eleven artists, game developers and producers from other creative sectors were asked for their interpretation of the stories, which could also be seen as stand-alone productions. The exhibition was accompanied by an educational programme, and visits to it were part of The Hague Culture Menu, a programme in which about 75 groups in Year 8 of primary schools visit the Archives.
The judges said: “This exhibition was excellently conceived and excitingly presented. The National Archives of The Netherlands is, of course, first and foremost an archival organisation and as such primarily preserves written documentation from Dutch society. But it has also realised something which may sound obvious. The collections are not only documentation for researchers in the reading room but are also material heritage in the same way that museum objects are. Exactly as in a museum that means that the archival collections can be used for exhibitions and educational purposes where the institution wants to tell a story and make a point. This is very natural for a museum to do, but the National Archives demonstrates that even an archival institution can do that when the will is there and the mind is set. The exhibitions and educational programmes are of a standard as high as any museum and the National Archives of The Netherlands sets a very good example for other archival institutions. It is first of all a question of will and courage.”
2015 Micheletti Award Judges' Report available here:
At a ceremony held in Bursa, Turkey, the Militärhistorisches Museum der Bundeswehr in Dresden, Germany, was announced as the winner of the 2013 Micheletti Award. The trophy was presented to the museum’s director, Dr Matthias Rogg. Representing the Luigi Micheletti Foundation were René Capovin and Giovanni Tampalini. A strong delegation from the European Museum Academy, which was responsible for the selection and assessment of candidates, was also present.
The judges said: “This is a museum that encapsulates the principles of the EU, unity in diversity and peace. It is making a unique effort to change the grammar of the past, as it is seen and understood by today’s society, in order to bring more hope for peace in the world.” “Although architects place their own landmarks in their designs as Libeskind does, it is clear that to achieve a good result this needs to be balanced with a strong group of policy- and decision-makers and advisors in the museum, and this has been done to great effect.”
“The museum is proud to be a forum which puts questions without giving answers. However, what is obvious for any visitor is that the museum is not quite neutral: it advocates peace and understanding …It is not a hymn for the bravery of ancestors, but a very honest witness of the past and of the present. Some of the themes of the temporary exhibitions are very daring.”
The closing date for applications is 1 November 2013
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Kenneth Hudson (1916-1999) was one of the most prominent personalities on the European museum scene and one of the pioneers of industrial archaeology in the 1960s, a broadcaster and the author of numerous books.
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