ŽIVA 2022 Awards to Virovitica City Museum and Cukrarna

The 8th Živa Award ceremony took place in collaboration with the Posavje Museum Brežice and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia, and in partnership with the Municipality of Brežice, Rajhenburg and Podsreda castles, and Božidar Jakac Art Museum.

The Živa Award for the Best Slavic Museum was conferred on the Virovitica City Museum (Croatia), which has “discovered its theme, its object, its material, closely connected with the history of the region and with all mankind, with life on Earth and at the present time with the joint human responsibility against its exploitation. The material in question is wood. This represents the essence of the content the museum has created and transferred in an up-to-date way into a comprehensive story and a uniquely engaging exhibition project – a great attraction to the large number of visitors to both the physical museum and the virtual one”, as written in the justification of the jury.

The Živa Award for the Best Slavic Heritage Site was awarded to Cukrarna, Museum and Galleries of Ljubljana (Slovenia). According to the jury, the gallery “displays a distinctive adjustment to modernity by activating the old to create the new – a contemporary cultural urban space, open to the public, offering a variety of art projects and forms of cooperation in the wider national and international context. In just over a year, the gallery has fulfilled its role in presenting and producing various exhibitions, educational activities, artistic interdisciplinary interpretations, discussions and other genuine events reflecting current social questions – many of them pointing to the public and heritage value of the site.”

At the awards ceremony, which took place on Friday at Brežice Castle, the Minister of Culture and Media of Montenegro, Maša Vlaović, conferred the award for the best Slavic museum, pointing out that our time is generous with challenges for those who seek to build national and cultural identity, and the awareness of its uniqueness. “This only strengthens our commitment for enhanced cooperation within the family of Slavic nations – between cultures that share the same linguistic roots, traditions, and lessons from history,” said Vlaović. The award for the best cultural heritage monument was conferred by the Director of Posavje Museum Brežice, Alenka Černelič Krošelj, who noted that thanks to the Živa awards ceremony the year 2022 was a special year for this renaissance-baroque castle, which also serves as a venue for various events.

Jury also recognized creativity of the Museum of Contemporary Art Skopje (North Macedonia), leadership of the Castle Museum in Pszczyna (Poland), storytelling of the “Old Village” Open Air Museum Sirogojno (Serbia), openness for visitors of the National Ethnographic Museum in Warsaw (Poland), good use of resources in L’ubovňa Museum, Stará L’ubovňa (Slovakia) and team efficiency of Nikola Koka Janković Gallery, National Museum in Kragujevac (Serbia). Honourable mention was granted to the Slovak National Museum – the Museum of the Slovak National Councils, Myjava (Slovakia).

Andreja Rihter, Director of the International Foundation Forum of Slavic Cultures, the initiator of the Živa Awards, wished to all winners that »their glory will travel beyond this day and will bring even more attention and audience to their institutions”.

This year saw the biggest number of nominees in eight years history of Živa awards, with museums and sites from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Czech Republic, Croatia, Montenegro, Northern Macedonia, Poland, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia

The awards were decided by 15 members of the international jury, which at their last session welcomed a new member from Ukraine, Olha Honchar, director of the Memorial Museum of Totalitarian Regimes “Territories of Terror”.

With Živa Awards, the International Foundation Forum of Slavic Cultures is recognising the most progressive and innovative practices in museums and heritage sites of thirteen Slavic countries for the eight consecutive year. No less than 170 museums have been nominated until now.

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