Corinium Museum in finals for top European award

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Corinium Museum in finals for top European award

The Corinium Museum, Cirencester, has made it to the finals of the prestigious 2006 European Museum of the Year Award.

The Cotswold District Council-owned museum, which re-opened in September 2004 after a one-year £5m transformation, is one of just 30 selected this year from the 38,000 museums in Europe.

And next week Museum Curator Dr John Paddock will travel to Lisbon in Portugal to make a series of presentations to the judges.

Each finalist is asked to take with them a three-dimensional object from their museum’s collection and Dr Paddock will be packing a portable candlestick - a medieval must-have that many people didn't leave home without, rather like today's mobile phone.

Made of copper alloy, the folding candleholder was an essential part of everyday 14th century life and reflects the wide range of items from the Corinium's one million objects that tell the story of Cotswold residents through the ages.

The aim of the award, run by the European Museums Forum, is to recognize, encourage and publicise new developments in museums that are adapting exceptionally well to the changing social and economic conditions in Europe. Past winners have included the VandA in London and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.

Dr Paddock said: “It is brilliant news that the Corinium Museum has got through to the finals, given the huge number of excellent entrants from all over Europe from which to choose. We're very excited and I'm hoping I'll be able to impress the judges by demonstrating how our important collections are used to benefit the public.”

As the first stage of the short-listing process last year, the museum was visited by two of the judging committee - Taja Vovk Cepic, Director of Ljubljana Museum, Slovenia, and Ulla Keding Olofsson of Stockholm.

They saw for themselves the impressive new galleries at the Museum, which is renowned for its objects and mosaics linked to Cirencester's Roman past and its collection of Anglo-Saxon treasures from Butler's Field, Lechlade.

Cllr David Fowles, Portfolio holder for Sport and Culture, said: “The Council is absolutely delighted that we are in the running for such a prestigious award. The nomination is an honour in itself and puts the Corinium Museum and Cirencester firmly on the map as one of the major attractions of its kind in Europe. The competition is tough but I think our first-class museum deserves to win.”

The judging, which takes place at Lisbon's Pharmacy Museum, runs from May 10th to 13th, with the winner being announced at a special ceremony on the final day.

Posted : 05/05/2006 18:40:28

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