The Živa Award 2016

Address by Mrs. Nina Zdravič Polič on behalf of the Živa Award Jury 2016

The Forum of Slavic Cultures, the founder of the Živa Award, has demonstrated in the last three years  the Živa Award ‘s truly multi-Slavic cultural dimension  that highlights the progress and changes in the museums of the Slavic countries in all their diversity, embracing the wealth of their heritage, seeking examples of best practice of  participation, joint cooperation and action.

Within the framework of  the Slavic museums entering the Živa Award competition, the number of museums, their  diverse approaches and achievements are growing from year to year, demonstrating not only different aspects of their cultural heritage but also  their potential as a driving force of cultural identity and as a  medium to communicate the commitment and awareness based on the openness to the world, respect for cultural diversity and different ways of life. They do so in such a manner so as to maintain the Slavic essence – so relevant to the museum audiences and users.

This year the judges of the Živa Award 2016 nominated 19 museums from 10 countries. 

THE BEST SLAVIC MUSEUMS IN 2016

JUSTIFICATIONS

THE WINNER OF THE ŽIVA AWARD 2016 - CRICOTEKA – Centre for Documentation of the Art of Tadeusz Kantor – Cracow, Poland

“The jury unanimously recognized the special spirit and excellence of an interdisciplinary institution, of a new contemporary art and documentation centre with intriguing architecture where an archive, objects, theatre, art and contemporary culture are blended in an effective way.  

The main purpose of the institution is to preserve and share ideas “not in a library system, but in the minds and imaginations of generations to come”. The institution is a socially engaged and responsible museum for today and tomorrow, it is  a symbol of the artistic search for an individual path to creativity, crossing the dividing line between the actor and the audience, between the creator and the recipient. 

It engages everyone in an activity game – a collective play. Its space constitutes both the stage and the audience; it is a venue for constant performances. Its value lies in erasing the borders between inside and outside. The creator, the artist, residents and visitors all take an active part in the process of creating space, which can be shaped and expressed in a museological way through selected objects, structures, means and methods.”

Special recommendation for Leadership – National Museum of Montenegro, Cetinje, Montenegro

“The museum has managed through strong leadership and modern management approaches to preserve its unique heritage sites and to open them in renewed form to the world.

The museum, which consists of more authentic historical sites and monuments, representing cultural assets of great importance to the country’s history and heritage, is today an outstanding example of a multi-disciplinary project, heritage restoration work and a unique heritage site.  As a result of excellent management at all levels, the museum has gone through many phases of change, from the renovation of buildings, conservation and digitalisation of collections, to multiple presentations of historical and of modern and contemporary art collections.

The Živa Award judges noted that the museum now plays an important social role and is a cultural and educational centre of great local, regional, national and international renown.”

Special recommendation for Creativity - New Generation Museum, Žďár nad Sázavou, Czech Republic 

“The museum shows creativity in presenting and dealing with heritage themes in a contemporary way by using different media and new technologies to reach out to visitors (especially the young) and for building meaningful narratives by connecting the past with the present and creating multi-layered experiences. In a short time, it has become an appealing modern museum in the region.

Its permanent exhibition reveals innovation through the use of audio-visual effects and top class design as interpretative tools of the main theme, provoking different emotions in audiences and promoting reflections on life.”

Special recommendation for Storytelling  - Museum of Alka of Sinj, Croatia

“The museum is built upon the storytelling of a specific tradition that has lived for over three centuries and has been transmitted from generation to generation as a valuable historical source of customs and ways of life, characterizing local people and the region from where it springs (this tradition is recognized as an intangible heritage unit and a world heritage asset). he museum presentation of the story and its historical interpretation is exceptional, comprehensive and captivating.

The overall contribution of the museum to the protection, preservation and promotion of this tradition and its transfer to future generations is recognized and praised. In less than a year, the museum has become a central meeting point of local and international experts and a great attraction for cultural tourism.”

Special recommendation for Attention to Visitors and Openness – Strečno Castle, Žilina (Museum of the Povazie Region), Slovakia

“The museum represents the power and protection of the past, and one of the best known and visited old medieval sites in the country, popular with history enthusiasts and nature lovers, local and international tourists. The public events and programme are so inviting thanks to the atmosphere where heritage  is combined with natural beauty and the river’s waters. As an added value, the museum has built an outdoor  replica of a authentic medieval village to serve as a recreational and learning area.    

The judges recognized the museum as being hospitable and open to the public, as well as for its specific integration of archaeological and natural heritage into the local environment and the inclusion of both the local population and tourism.”

Special recommendation for Good Use of Resources  - Novgorod State Museum Reserve, Veliky Novgorod, Russia

“The museum’s role is recognized in its country and the world for its achievements in preserving, restoring, conserving and communicating its heritage wealth and value; for the promotion of medieval artistic expressions and forms that were created through the millennium, its specific character, its history, its set of customs and beliefs, its conventions and spiritual essence, shaping the national and cultural identify. It presents priceless medieval legacy bearing witness to old material and spiritual culture, many of them included on the list of World Heritage.

The judges stated: The institution is a huge complex of architectural monuments, historical and fine arts museums and archaeological sites .It is an impressive result of museum professionalism, and a successful example of the institutional bridging of cultures and of maintaining an open and integral approach to using all its resources to provide an attractive public space.”

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In addition to the main Živa Award and to the selected winners of Special Recommendations, the Živa Award judges have also decided to also award a special diploma for the creation (still in progress) of a new environmentally, socially and culturally sustainable museum and an archaeological site.

Special Diploma for Creating a new museum - Vucedol Culture Museum, Croatia

“The judges have recognized the comprehensive approach to the relevant European archaeological site and to the realization of a new museum and a cultural centre well integrated into the landscape, resulting in a universe of discovery and inspiration for visitors and researchers. It is an unmatched and unique contemporary combination of nature, architecture and history – all significant to the development of the collective memory.”