Now that we have heard all the presentations, it is more appropriate to reflect on the Award
"As I write this it is at least 10 hours before we hear the result but I am even optimistic now than when I was thinking about it on the plane. I am biased, but we are of course the best.
Naturally, my views may not be the same as the judges, but we stand a good chance despite having already won a special commendation three years ago. Certainly there is stiff competition – I think the Lascaux Cave in France is the next best – but it depends on what the Judges are looking for. If it is buildings, then the Azerbaijan Carpet Museum, and the Vucedol Culture Museum are good contenders. If it is for the presentations on the day, then the Lenin Museum and the Vapriiki Musuem in Finland and the Railway Museum in Portugal are the competitors. If it is for social responsibility and community engagement then the Hospital in the Rock Nuclear Bunker in Turkey and the Diachronic Museum in Greece stand a chance, whilst the War Childhood Museum in Bosnia has already won the Council of Europe Award for their approach. If it is for interpretation then, again, my biased opinion is that we must be the favourites, with the Alimentarium Food Museum in Switzerland coming a gutsy second and with the Riga Motor Museum and Portugal Train Museum also performing well. The tiny and private Irish Emigration Museum in Dublin may sneak in there too.
We must assume that voting is not tactical nor Eurovision style, but it has been astonishing how much Brexit has featured both in Keynote Address and in the bar talk. Keep your fingers crossed!
As the Chair of the judges, Jose Gameiro has just said in his speech, ‘Everyone nominated is already a winner’ and the important voters are our visitors who already say that we are the best.
With best wishes from Warsaw
Head of Interpretation
The Mary Rose