Days of Yore
A museum’s waves rock young and old
AMSTERDAM _ The National Maritime Museum has emerged from a contest among 40 museums from 21 nations with a “special commendation” for the way it engages young and old in the Netherlands’ maritime universe and history. The top award _ the 2013 European Museum of the Year Award _ went to the Riverside Museum: Scotland’s Museum of Transport and Travel in Glasgow.
The jury issued 3 other awards and 4 “special commendations.” One of the latter singled out Amsterdam’s National Maritime Museum as a landmark that “explores new ways of creating ‘waves’ in society thanks to creative uses of technology. The European Museum of the Year Award 2013 judging panel was impressed by the overall approach that allows visitors of all ages and backgrounds to get immersed in a maritime universe.”
Maritime Museum Director Willem Bijleveld said the citation amounted to “spectacular, international recognition of the renewal that the National Maritime Museum has undergone in recent years. We are at the top!” Since reopening in 2011, the National Maritime Museum has won several awards for marketing, architecture and exhibitions.
Founded in 1997, the annual museum award recognizes excellence in European museums _ big and small. It serves to alert public authorities to initiatives that tend to get overshadowed by headline museums.The National Maritime Museum is housed in a former naval storehouse that dates back to 1656. The museum is dedicated to preserving the rich maritime history of the Netherlands. Its collection contains paintings, scale models, weapons and world maps. Outside the museum lies a replica of the Amsterdam, an 18th-century East India trader.