28 April 2022
By Elaine Murphy
Nano Nagle Place, an independent museum in Cork City, has been awarded the hugely prestigious Council of Museum Prize in Strasbourg. The prize, awarded annually since 1977, recognises museums that uphold the Council of Europe’s values of human rights and democratic citizenship. It recognises museums that broaden knowledge and understanding of contemporary societal issues, and bridge cultures by encouraging inter-cultural dialogue or overcoming social and political borders. Nano Nagle Place are the first Irish museum to win the prize since Monaghan County Museum in 1980.
Jette Sandahl, President of the European Museum Forum, said “Nano Nagle Place epitomises everything that museums can do and can be, and joins the line of Council of Europe Museum Prize winners that were initially as surprising as they have since become legendary and internationally well known.”
President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Tiny Kox said “At the Council of Europe we believe this is an exemplary place based on need not on doctrine, providing long-term sustainable cultural and social services directly connected to the core museum story of innovative education and care of the poor and the excluded … with this award the museum plays an important role in promoting the core values in 46 member states of the Council of Europe, the values that in these times that we cannot take for granted and that we need keep defending continuously.”
Shane Clarke, CEO of Nano Nagle Place, said: “We are so honoured to be awarded the Council of Europe Museum Prize 2022 for celebrating human rights, democracy, and intercultural dialogue. Our mission is to take Nano’s values of education and social justice into the twenty-first century. To be recognised at the vanguard of museum practice in our work across heritage and community development, particularly the Lantern Project and the Cork Migrant Centre, confirms our belief that museums really can change the world.”
Sr Julie Watson, Presentation Sisters Congregational Leader said “Nano Nagle Place has given a new meaning to the concept of the museum. It uses Nano Nagle, a powerful figure from the past, reinterpreting her call for the 21st century to create meaningful change in the present. Nano Nagle’s core mission of outreach and education sits at the centre of the museum, in the form of Cork Migrant Centre and The Lantern Community Project, and that is what makes Nano Nagle Place a museum with a difference, making a difference.”
A delegation travelled from Cork to accept the coveted prize, including Shane Clarke Nano Nagle Place CEO, Sr Julie Watson, Presentation Sisters Congregational Leader, Councillor Derry Canty, Cork City Deputy Lord Mayor, Elmarie McCarthy, Cork City Council Tourism Officer, Dr Evelyn Grant, Nano Nagle Place Board Member, Dr Naomi Masheti, Coordinator of Cork Migrant Centre, Karina Healy, Lantern Community Development Project Coordinator, Dr Danielle O’Donovan, Programme Manager and representing the Nano Nagle Place welcome team, Paul Lehane.