Exeter's Royal Albert Memorial Museum wins UK prize

Wed Jun 20, 2012 9:57am EDT
 
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LONDON (Reuters) - Exeter's Royal Albert Memorial Museum (RAMM) has been crowned museum of the year by the Art Fund after a 24 million pound refurbishment that the charity described as "stunning".

The museum, established in the city in southwest England in 1868 in memory of Queen Victoria's husband, receives 100,000 pounds ($160,000). It was one of four museums and galleries on the shortlist.

"The new Royal Albert Memorial Museum is quite simply a magical place," said Chris Smith, a former culture minister and chair of the judges of the annual award.

"The Victorian aspirations to bring the world to Exeter are stunningly realized through some of the most intelligently considered displays on view in any museum in the UK."

Over its 144 year history, RAMM has amassed a collection of more than a million objects ranging from medieval coins to modern art, and the judges praised its "ambition and imagination".

The museum underwent an extensive redevelopment between 2001 and 2011 aimed at repairing structural damage and to allow for further growth.

Last year's winner of the Art Fund Prize was the British Museum for its "A History of the World" project which attempted to tell the story of humanity through 100 objects.

(Reporting by Mike Collett-White, editing by Paul Casciato)