|The Council of Europe's Museum Prize for 2006 has been awarded to the Churchill Museum in London.|
The Museum, which opened in February 2005, is part of the Cabinet War Rooms in the basement of the Treasury Building, the underground headquarters of Britain’s wartime leader Sir Winston Churchill. It uses modern display technology to give visitors access to many aspects of Churchill’s life, career, achievements, character and personality.
The museum, which presents European history over the 90 years of Churchill’s life, was felt to be exemplary in the objective picture it gives of the character of a person who was central to that history and was closely involved in post-war reconstruction through such institutions as the Council of Europe. It was praised for its use of the latest technology to draw on the extensive archives in presentations that are readily accessible to older and younger generations.
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. Museums in the 48 countries of the European Cultural Convention are eligible to enter for the prize.
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 presentation ceremony will take place in Strasbourg during the Parliamentary Assembly's 2006 spring session (10-14 April).
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 the Museum of Byzantine Culture in Greece (2005), the Museum of Health Care in Edirne, Turkey (2004) and the Latenium in Hauterive-Neuchâtel, Switzerland (2003).