Best European Museum of the Year, in Croatia: Betina Museum of Wooden Shipbuilding!
May 14, 2018 – Splendid news from Murter island: the Museum of Wooden Shipbuilding in Betina town now has a major award to boast!
The museum in Betina was proclaimed the Best European Museum of the Year (EMYA 2018) in the category Museums and Communities, and awarded the Siletto Prize 2018 that recognises excellence in working with the local community and involving volunteers. “This is an excellent example of a museum which is an expression of the identity of a community, driven by vision, enthusiasm and commitment. Its collections have been donated by the people of the village, providing an insight into the traditional way of life linking the present and the past, and bringing younger and older people together. Everyone involved in the museum’s activities, from the staff to the visitors, is strongly engaged with it. Because of its extraordinary commitment to social responsibility, it constitutes a model of relations between museum, community and local enterprises”, stated the European Museum Forum.
And it truly does: the darling museum in Betina is dedicated to preservation of maritime heritage and aims to educate younger generations and the wider public about traditional wooden shipbuilding on Murter. They organise lovely workshops on the regular and take immense efforts to involve the entire community in their activities. A charming stone townhouse houses a fascinating display laid out on two museum floors, presenting the history of the Betina gajeta, the traditional wooden boat indigenous to Murter island. You’ll gain some insight into the construction process, learn about the local maestri of shipbuilding and the community that lived in unison with their boats for centuries. We had the pleasure of visiting the museum in Betina as part of a Gastronaut tour of northern Dalmatia in November 2017 – click here to read a love letter to this exceptional place.
The Betina Museum of Wooden Shipbuilding had a competition of 40 other cultural institution scattered all over Europe. Croatia had one more contender this year, the Vučedol Culture Museum in Vukovar. The winners were announced at the Annual Assembly of the European Museum Forum that took place in Warsaw from May 9 to 12.
Congratulations to the Betina museum – if there’s anyone deserving of this presitigous prize, it’s you!