Home EMF News
PDF Print E-mail

"Queen Fabiola of Belgium, Madrid, 1928 - Stuyvenberg Castle, Belgium, 2014. Personal Recollections"

The following are short tributes for Queen Fabiola. She was the royal patron of the European Museum Forum for many years. She is remembered by all who met her with admiration. We have collected some of our thoughts here to celebrate her life. If you would like to add your own, please contact us.

In 2005, I took a photo of Queen Fabiola visiting the Natural History Museum in Brussels. She was an inquisitive museum visitor, eager to know, always asking many questions. She was genuinely interested in all things and, especially, people around her. Queen Fabiola was, herself, a good storyteller. She once recalled that as a child she dreamt of becoming a policewoman, directing road traffic at a busy crossroads, and of selling pastries and coffees at a railway station cafe.

She took her position as EMF Patron very seriously, reading through the EMYA brochures and listening to candidates' presentations when she attended the sessions. After the final awards ceremony, she made a point of speaking with representatives of the winning museums, expressing her natural curiosity towards their work. In 2008 EMF presented her with a Russian church bell for her birthday, which I carried all the way from Moscow to Dublin. Months later I saw it in her Brussels palace, where she told me she rang it regularly when children came to stay with her to summon them to dinner. I don't have monarchist leanings nor sympathies but I was a true admirer of Queen Fabiola. (Personal memories of an EMF Trustee)

A slight but tremendously forceful lady, whose style - almost of another era - never took away from her sense of humour. She recalled quietly one time how exciting it would have been to have married a policeman rather than a king - a comment that showed her natural curiosity and rarefied understanding of the "real" world.

(Personal memories of an EMF Trustee)


During the EMYA meeting that was held in Barcelona in 1995,  Kenneth Hudson approached Queen Fabiola asking her to become a patron of EMF. She accepted graciously.

Queen Fabiola was a gentle person. She had genuine cultural interests and was a supporter of heritage and museums.

I met her during a holiday she spent on the island of Tinos in the Cyclades, as a guest on the Van der Stoel estate.  She was visiting Greece for her vacation, and I had the chance of meeting her and appreciating her knowledge of Greek history.

Tinos, shaped for centuries by its Venetian rulers, has both Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic communities. I imagine, as a fervent believer herself, she appreciated the religious mix of the islanders. Queen Fabiola would visit the city port of Tinos and became known and appreciated by the islanders for her simplicity. She visited the Church of Panagia Megalohari which houses the reputedly miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary, the archaeological Museum of the island with collections dating back to the Mycenean period - all tourist landmarks which, surprisingly, she visited unescorted.

Her interest and admiration of classical Greek culture accompanied her throughout her life.

(Personal recollections of an EMF Trustee)

PDF Print E-mail

We are delighted to announce that the European Museum Forum is opening the European Museum of the Year Award 2015 competition and we hereby invite European museums to submit applications.

The competition also includes the prestigious Council of Europe Museum Prize.

Please find attached detailed information and guidelines about EMYA and its awards, including the Council of Europe Museum Prize, and the application form for EMYA 2015.

More information about EMYA

The closing date for applications is 20/06/2014

EMYA 2015 Application Form (Word Document)

EMYA 2015 Application form guidelines (PDF)

EMYA 2015 Application supplementary information (PDF)

For more information contact us at emf@icom.museum

PDF Print E-mail

EMYA 2014 : The event you should not miss

Tallinn, Estonia, May 2014

We are delighted to invite you to the European Museum Forum Annual Assembly and European Museum of the Year Award Ceremony 2014, held in Tallinn, Estonia on 14–17 May. During these days, we will have the great pleasure of introducing the best European museums, as well as our diverse cultural heritage. Come and see the excellence of the European museum scene in our professional and friendly atmosphere and take part in the interesting programmes we have prepared.

We are starting with Ecult Dialogue Day, with a programme bearing the title Creating the Magic:Matching Culture and IC. The aim is to identify the technological requirements of museums and cultural heritage owners and present existing technology solutions addressing such needs. Panels and the audience will discuss approaches and processes. Join in and explore the possibilities (the programme is free of charge). The Ecultvalue project is supported by the European Union 7th Framework Support Action Programme and the main objective is to encourage cooperation between museums and ICT, since the whole range of new possibilities for development involves synergies between the two sectors.

The entire EMYA event is supported by the Ministry of Culture of Estonia and includes partnership with ICOM. We do recommend you not miss the event since it is a wonderful opportunity to see dozens of nominated candidates for the most prestigious European prizes. Inspiring stories, wonderful museums and challenging solutions that museum professionals have found to make their museums shine: a worthwhile place to be.

On Saturday morning the European Museum Forum and the Council of Europe are jointly organizing a panel with directors of the past winners of the Council of Europe Museum Prize (2000-2013), and we have also chosen speakers who will address the audience on the International Museum Day theme in cooperation with ICOM.

The Award Ceremony will take place on Saturday evening and the night will be long, since on the same day you will be able to experience Annual Museum Night in one the greatest art museums of Europe.

You are therefore cordially invited to attend the entire EMYA ceremony and you can find all of the details on the web site http://www.emya2014.eu/.


Goranka Horjan

Chair of the EMF Board

Registration now open

Check out the full programme

eCult Dialogue Day programme available now!

PDF Print E-mail


14-17 May 2014

Tallinn, Estonia

Closing date for registration is 30 April 2014
Early registration is until 2 March 2014


PDF Print E-mail

Last year the European Museum Forum joined the European Heritage Alliance coordinated by the Europa Nostra and since then has been actively participating in conferences and sessions organised with the aim to foster protection and support to cultural heritage and museums in European countries. On 5 December 2013, a large conference Cultural Heritage for Europe – Europe for Cultural Heritage was held in Brussels, at Bibliothèque Solvay. Many heritage experts and artists were invited by Europa Nostra in cooperation with the European Commission to participate in debates and draft common strategies aimed at enabling the repositioning of culture as an important stakeholder in sustainable development.

Goranka Horjan, Chair of the European Museum Forum, was a panelist in one of the four thematic discussions, exchanging opinions on new initiatives in culture and urban development that are suggesting viable solutions to cultural management on all levels.  EMF Chair also spoke about the economic benefits of cultural investments that are vitally connected to the whole range of social impacts. One of the most famous European painters, Michelangelo Pistoletto, winner of the 2013 Praemium Imperiale Prize for Painting, awarded in October at the ceremony in Tokyo, also participated in the discussion. Plácido Domingo, President of Europa Nostra, won the same prize for music in 2013. In his inspiring speech, Plácido Domingo shared his dream in which all Europeans are gathered in democracy and freedom.

The whole meeting was organised by Europa Nostra and supervised by Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović, its Secretary General. The exhibition of Europa Nostra heritage awards was inaugurated by José Manuel Durão Barroso, President of European Comission, and Androulla Vassiliou, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism, Sport, Media and Youth. President Barosso emphasised that citizens of Europe may be proud of their heritage since the whole world recognises the value of their cultural assets.

<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 Next > End >>

Page 2 of 4