The Luigi Micheletti Award 2017 has been awarded to the GPO Witness History Visitor Centre in Dublin. The Luigi Micheletti Award is the European prize for innovative museums in the world of contemporary history, industry and science.
Opened as one the key projects of the 2016 commemorations, GPO Witness History is both a cultural venue and a history museum, with personal stories, eyewitness accounts and historical artefacts. The Centre's aim is to redress the balance of the events of the 1916 Easter Rising, which have been the subject of what it describes as ‘a century of idolisation and demonisation'. The exhibition space is below ground, with a large display showing how political posters overshadowed those advertising cultural and social events. There is a mix of documents and artefacts, together with reproductions of uniforms and weapons. Audio guides are available in six languages and touch screens show an overview of events and their aftermath for every period. A large semi-circular video wall has a 17-minute programme recreating events in central Dublin in 1916. The exhibition has made every effort to show the viewpoints of the Irish and British, Roman Catholics and Protestants, rich and poor.
The judges said : The Centre is a perfect example of 20 th century history in retrospect, dealing in an even-handed way with a very emotive subject, which would have been impossible even a decade ago. It is an extraordinary achievement, an historical challenge with has been transformed into a reconciliation centre which also poses questions for the future. Our warmest congratulations go to the whole team.
Click here to view the announcement on the Luigi Micehletti Award website.