On 28 October 2023, Wim van der Weiden passed away. Van der Weiden was a distinguished personality in the European museum world and a founder of European Museum Academy (EMA) in 2009. He created the pioneering museums Museon and Naturalis.
After working for several years as a history teacher, he got the job at the Department of History at the Museum for Education – nowadays Museon – in The Hague. It meant his start of a career in and around the world of museums from 1970 up to 2010. In this position he had the opportunity to combine many activities such as building three new institutions: Museon and Omniversum (the first Space Theatre in Europe) in The Hague and Naturalis (the National Museum of Natural History) in Leiden. Being in succession or partly simultaneously member of the Board of the Dutch Museums Association, he was one of the founders of the Dutch Museum Pass, chairman of ICOM The Netherlands, member of the Executive Council of ICOM, member of the European Museum of the Year Award and for eight years its Chairman. And last but not least, he was Founder of the European Museum Academy (EMA) – together with Massimo Negri – and its first chairman. Van der Weiden combinined these activities with memberships of several national and international boards of museums, lecturing on many occasions and acting as expert in countless workshops and seminars inside and outside The Netherlands.
It may be noted that Van der Weiden supported the initiative of cooperation between EMA and Forum of Slavic Cultures. He attended many of the events organised by the FSK, including the international summer school in Piran, the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the EMA and the 15th anniversary of the FSK in Ljubljana.