OZEANEUM is European Museum of the Year

The OZEANEUM Stralsund has been awarded Europe’s Museum of the year. The “European Museum of the Year Award”? is said to be the Oscar of museums.

Overjoyed, the museum director Dr. Harald Benke accepted the award in form of the sculpture “The Egg”? by sculptor Henry Moore from last year’s prize winner, the Salzburg Museum. Benke gave thanks to the jury, showed big respect to all other candidates and spoke obviously emotionally of a highlight for the German Oceanographic Museum.

Other honorees of the prize that has been awarded every year since 1977 are i.a. the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, the Danish National Museum in Copenhagen and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The last German prize winner was the German Emigration Center in Bremerhaven in 2007. Among the 22 nominated museums of this year were the Roman Museum in Xanten and many museums from South and East Europe. There were five museums of natural history nominated.

Already yesterday, the director of the German Oceanographic Museum presented the peculiarities of the OZEANEUM to the jury and members of the forum. Some jury members showed their fascination for the OZEANEUM already during their visit in Stralsund in 2009. With the help of three test tubes filled with sea salt and three blue mussels of varying size, Benke explained to the 160 museum experts from 22 countries, which influence the different salt concentrations of the Baltic Sea have to the size of sea animals. The salt was extracted from one liter of water out of the North Sea, out of the Baltic Sea off Stralsund as well as off Helsinki. The photo presentation, which was created in 2009 for the application for the prize showed the content of the exhibitions and aquaria as well as the spectacular architecture from Behnisch Architects.

The OZEANEUM convinced with its modern exhibitions that fascinate a wide audience because centrally arranged objects and multimedia tools clearly communicate the complex and scientific content. Exceptional is the combination of the exhibitions with the partly huge aquaria with thousands of living animals, through which the visitors can undertake a unique underwater journey through the Northern seas. With one million of visitors during the first twelve months after the opening the OZEANEUM obtained a result that caused a sensation in Europe. Benke spoke about the close cooperation with Greenpeace and research institutes from the Consortium German Sea Research, which provide new findings for current exhibitions.

Image: Andreas Tanschus and Dr. Harald Benke with the sculpture “The Egg” (photo: OZEANEUM)

Lower image: aerial picture of the OZEANEUM photo: Christian Rödel


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