Museum of the Year

The Workers Museum is the first Danish museum ever to be awarded the Council of Europe Museum Prize. This prestigious prize is conferred on outstanding museums drawing on European cultural heritage in promoting respect for human rights, democratic citizenship and civic engagement.

This accolade is due, not least, to The Workers Museum’s success in curating a visitor experience in its extensively restored national heritage premises, the listed workers’ union and assembly building from 1879. The grounds for the jury’s decision read:

“The museum has the potential to become a beacon of activism, as it was in the past.”

Europe’s oldest workers’ assembly building

The Workers Museum is housed symbolically in Europe’s oldest workers’ assembly building. Back in the day, these premises were the setting for heated debate and rousing speeches, while binding agreements were made and powerful alliances forged. In the magnificent banquet hall, successive generations of wage workers sang trade union anthems, met in reading circles, held festive celebrations, and were educated to exercise the democratic rights they were united in campaigning for.

The original premises that now house The Workers Museum were built by ordinary wage workers. And it is their story that is conveyed by the exhibitions and the many educational activities. This prize will further motivate the museum to remain relevant to this general working public,” says Morten Skov Christiansen, President of The Workers Museum and Vice-President of FH – Danish Trade Union Confederation.

The Council of Europe Museum Prize is the highest recognition conceivable of The Workers Museum’s aims and achievements. To have our efforts recognised by both museum experts and European policy-makers whose focus is the future, is a source of immense pride for us”, Søren Bak-Jensen, Museum Director.

The prize was awarded to The Workers Museum for its achievements in bringing the history of the labour movement’s solidarity and struggle for an equal and just society into a present-day dialogue on the future development of democracy and society. And equally, for its innovative role in altering perceptions of what museums can do for people today.

About the prize:
Since 1977, the Council of Europe Museum Prize has been awarded every year “to a museum that has contributed significantly to upholding human rights and democratic citizenship and to broadening knowledge and understanding of contemporary societal issues.” The aim of the Prize is “to highlight Europe’s diverse cultural heritage and the interplay between local and European identities.”
Established by the Council of Europe, the Prize is awarded in association with European Museum Forum.

Previous prize winners include Nano Nagle Place in Cork, Ireland (2022), Gulag History Museum in Moscow, Russia (2021) and National Museum of Secret Surveillance “House of Leaves” in Tirana, Albania (2020).

Read more about the Council of Europe Museum Prize »