The Pau Casals Museum in El Vendrell is one of the 50 European museums nominated for the 2024 European Museum of the Year Award (EMYA). The award is given by the European Museum Forum, in association with the Council of Europe
The EMYA rewards not only the museum’s facilities and content, but also its management. It evaluates and recognises the best museums or temporary exhibitions created in the last three years (or museums or exhibitions that already existed but have undergone a complete overhaul). The award recognises excellence in museology within Europe, while fostering and promoting innovative processes related to museum development at the international level. The jury assesses factors such as the museum’s relationship with visitors, the inventiveness of its presentations, and a creative focus oriented towards education and social responsibility. The EMYA is the most prestigious accolade that a European museum can receive.
On 5 December, the Pau Casals Foundation was very happy to learn that the Pau Casals Museum had been nominated for the award. Simply being nominated and taking part in the final is already recognition of the hard work done over the years to become a benchmark museum at both the national and international level, and the effort made on a daily basis to promote the musical legacy of Pau Casals and his pursuit of world peace and respect for human rights: a message that remains highly relevant today.
In its bid for the award, the Pau Casals Museum highlighted its museological and architectural renovations, which were completed in June 2022. With this updated approach, the museum aims to make the musical legacy and humanistic values of Casals more accessible to new generations of visitors by incorporating new elements and content related to the great musician. The museum has moved away from a purely chronological narrative in favour of a more conceptual approach, which presents the figure of Pau Casals as a musician in the fullest sense of the term and establishes a link between today’s world and Casals’s legacy of defending peace, democracy and human rights. The most outstanding aspect of the new museum is its commitment to ensuring a high-quality visitor experience, with cutting-edge technological resources that respect the historical spaces of the building while providing a more intimate and interactive presentation.
As the museum is located in Pau Casals’s summer residence, the importance of its location and its connection to El Vendrell and Sant Salvador are key elements that were taken into account when developing the new museum experience. The house was declared a Site of Local Cultural Interest by El Vendrell Town Council and a Museum of National Interest by the Government of Catalonia in 2020.
The overall winners of the 2024 EMYA will be declared on the final day of the Annual Conference and Awards Ceremony, which will take place in Portimão (Portugal) from 1 to 4 May 2024. The Pau Casals Museum is the only museum in Catalonia and Spain that has been nominated for the 2024 edition of the award.