Ah, it’s good to be in Warsaw. Our arrival last night would have been better had there not been a mixup with the hotel that made us unpack, pack, and pack again around 11 pm. I suppose an optimist may see that as some kind of hustle-bustle charm, but after living out of suitcases for the last week and a half, it’s hard to hold back a grumble. But, after a quick midnight walk around the Palace of Culture, our frowns evaporated amidst Warsaw’s skyscrapers.
Today, we met with our colleague Dr. Dariusz Stola, director of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews. The POLIN museum’s unmatched educational platform has met beautiful design, storytelling, and modernity to create an attraction that’s both meaningful and fun. In recognition of this, they received the prestigious European Museum of the Year (EMYA) award for 2016. This has been awarded every year since 1977 by the European Museum Forum, operating under the auspices of the Council of Europe. Its aim is to recognize the most interesting events in the European museum scene and to encourage museums to introduce innovations. In recent years, award winners have included the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam (EMYA 2015), the Museum of Innocence in Istanbul (2014), the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao (2000), and the British Galleries at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London (2003).
Compered to our cooperation wit other institutions, this one is relativey new. Marcin and Msgr. Tom had been there before, but this was my first time. It’s an amazing place that showcases few artifacts and presents an enriching and beautiful ultimedia attraction and learning center. At ouu meeting, we reported to Dr. Stola on our recent exhibitions of They Risked Their Lives: Poles who Rescued Jews During the Holocaust. It’s a recent construct of little-known details that puts the spotlight on the herculean efforts of everyday heroes, who risked everything to help their Jewish friends and neighbors during the terror of WWII.
After a good day of touring the museum and getting some fresh ideas about our upcoming exhibition space in the new Galeria, it was time to catch up with some old friends around Warsaw at night. See you tomorrow!