On May 10, the solemn ceremony was held in London in honor of this year’s winners of the international "Museum and Heritage Awards" competition, at which the National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War was presented with the Judges’ Special Recognition Award for the exhibition "Ukraine - Crucifixion" and for special professional resilience during the war. On behalf of the team, it was received by the Director General of the Museum Yurii Savchuk.
The international prize "Museum and Heritage Awards" was founded in 2002 and is known as the "museum Oscar". Throughout the years the prestigious award was received by such respected world-renowned institutions as the British Museum (Great Britain) and the Metropolitan Museum of Art (USA). The founders of the award are the "Museum and Heritage" organization, which was established in 1991 to become a center of cooperation for museum institutions, galleries and the cultural heritage sector. The award ceremony is the main event within the framework of the annual "Museum and Heritage Show", which takes place in the Olympia exhibition center (London) and traditionally presents the main innovations, modern trends in exhibition design and current topics for discussions in the field of museum affairs and cultural heritage.
In 2023, the organizers of the competition received several hundred applications from various museums of the world, 92 of which entered the finals in 18 nominations. In the nomination "International Exhibition of the Year", the shortlist of potential winners named the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum, the Toronto History Museums (10 institutions of the relevant profile), the National Council of Science Museums (India), Guangdong Science Center (China), Science Museum Group, the Vardemuseerne (Denmark) and Swiss Alpine Museum (Switzerland).
According to the director of Museum and Heritage Awards, Anna Preedy, "When the members of the jury got acquainted with the materials of the exhibition of the National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War "Ukraine - Crucifixion", a unanimous decision was made to award the project and the Museum of War with the Judges’ Special Recognition Award. After all, what we saw is definitely out of competition and goes beyond our traditional evaluation criteria."
The exhibition "Ukraine - Crucifixion" (curator - Yuriy Savchuk, artist - Anton Logov) was opened on May 8, 2022, and during the year of exhibition, it not only attracted the attention of the world media and the public, but also had a number of exhibition sequels that were exhibited outside of Ukraine: "Battle for Ukraine" (Riga, Latvia), "Ukraine - Crucifixion. 365..." (Tallinn, Estonia) and "Ukraine. Crucifix. Tribunal" (USA).
The honorable jury was particularly impressed by the fact that the process of preparing the exhibition started within the first months of the full-scale invasion of the Russian Federation in Ukraine, and the artifacts that formed the basis of the project were collected by the museum team led by the director general, with the assistance of all the power blocs of the country, in the de-occupied regions of Kyiv region and Chernihiv region immediately after their liberation.
" Ukraine needs political, military and financial support but, importantly, we also need cultural support. This award is a great act of support for our Museum and our country. It inspires us to continue our work, however difficult this may be. Your attention to our Museum gives such an important feeling of Ukraine’s belonging to the European civilization and its European perspectives.," Yurii Savchuk emphasized in his speech.