The Natural History Museum won the Best of the Best award at the Museums and Heritage Awards for Excellence 2013 ceremony last night.
Scott's Last Expedition - in the gallery
It was one of 4 accolades given to the Museum, which also included a trophy for the Scott’s Last Expedition exhibition, and commendations for the new permanent Treasures Cadogan Gallery and the marketing campaign for the Animal Inside Out exhibition.
It was the first time the special Best of the Best award was given and it recognises a visitor attraction that continues to break boundaries, to push forward and engage new audiences.
'The Natural History Museum is a much-loved institution which is constantly evolving, reinterpreting some of the world's greatest collections, often challenging visitor perception whilst continuing to remain a firm family favourite,' says Museums and Heritage Awards Director Anna Preedy.
Treasures in the Cadogan Gallery. A Blaschka glass model of a radiolarian in the foreground.
Museum Director Dr Michael Dixon said, 'It is a real honour to be celebrated as the Best of the Best in the Museums and Heritage Awards.
'It reflects the high quality of our exhibitions that showcase our unparalleled collections and research.
‘The past 12 months saw us reaching 5 million visitors for the first time, and these awards are the perfect culmination to a record-breaking year.’
Scott’s Last Expedition took the award for Best Temporary or Touring Exhibition, recognising the innovative approach it took to revealing the tales of endurance and scientific achievements of Robert Falcon Scott’s epic Terra Nova expedition.
Star of Animal Inside Out - the 3.5m-tall female small-eared Asian elephant, the largest specimen to ever be plastinated.
The exhibition was a partnership with the Canterbury Museum in New Zealand, where it is currently open until 30 June, and with the Antarctic Heritage Trust.
The Museum was Highly Commended by the judges in 2 categories. The new exhibition Treasures in the Cadogan Gallery, which showcases 4.5 billion years of natural history through 22 precious specimens, was Highly Commended in the Permanent Gallery category.
The Museum was also Highly Commended for the marketing campaign for the Animal Inside Out exhibition, which explored the intricate biology of some of the world’s most spectacular creatures in collaboration with the team behind Gunther von Hagens’ Body Worlds show.