Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum, which was comprehensively restored and reimagined by Spanish practice Cruz y Ortiz over the course of a decade, has been named as the 2015 European Museum of the Year (EMYA) by the European Museum Forum. Lauded by the jury as "a great museum, at the height of its powers, providing a rich experience to the public, and a socially aware outreach programme for visitors of all ages," its success has also been in the museum's "ambition to 'reach every child in the Netherlands by the age of twelve'" - an aspiration which has been praised as "notable, impressive and achievable." The coveted award has previously gone to Zaha Hadid Architects' Riverside Museum in Glasgow in 2013.
Awarded since 1977, the EMYA celebrates "excellence and innovation in museums across Europe." The organisation's statement declares that:
The stunning restoration of original wall‐paintings, the elegant rehang of its world‐famous paintings, the museum’s new historic galleries which integrate all the collections, a new Asian Art pavilion and a new medieval gallery: all celebrate the range and depth of the museum’s collections vividly. The renewed Rijksmuseum offers impressive multilingual guidance to its visitors, witty and thought‐provoking interventions in the galleries, and a state‐of‐the‐art website for virtual visitors. Not immediately obvious to the visitor are the museum’s diverse educational and outreach programmes.
The Rijksmuseum , which reopened last year after a decade of restoration and remodelling, is a museum dedicated to "the Dutchness of Dutchness." Pierre Cuypers, the building's original architect, began designing this neogothic cathedral to Dutch art in 1876; it opened in 1885 and has stood guard over Amsterdam's Museumplein ever since.