The front of the Natural Hsitory Museum showing it iconic arched entrance.

The Museum has been shortlisted along with four other museums and galleries across the UK. 

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The Natural History Museum shortlisted for the Art Fund Museum of the Year 2023

The Natural History Museum has been selected as one of five finalists for Art Fund Museum of the Year 2023, the world's largest museum prize.

The Museum is delighted to have been shortlisted for the biggest museum prize in the world and the UK's largest arts award.

For 50 years the Art Fund Museum of the Year award has champions museums, galleries and heritage sites around the UK, celebrating their innovative work and highlighting the impacts they have had on their audiences.

This year, the Museum is delighted to have been shortlisted for the award. As the custodian of one of the world's most important natural history collections and employing over 300 scientists working on subjects ranging from the origin of life itself to the unfolding biodiversity crisis, the Museum is uniquely positioned to be a powerful champion for balancing humanity's needs with those of the natural world.

The Museum's use of its global reach and influence to meet its mission to create advocates for the planet has resulted in the innovative 'Our Broken Planet' exhibition which tackled the not only the impacts of biodiversity loss but also the solutions and the influential 'Biodiversity Intactness Index' tool to help document and show this loss and potential pathways forward. As well as attending the international climate conferences COP26 and COP27 and the biodiversity conference COP15.

A woman walks behind the large skeleton of a blue marlin fish.

The exhibition Our Broken Planet not only showed how we are causing the biodiversity crisis, but crucially how we can fix it.  

Dr Doug Gurr, the Director of the Museum, says, 'I am enormously proud that the Museum has been shortlisted for the Museum of the Year 2023 Award and to congratulate the four other fantastic finalists.'

'Our mission is to create advocates for the planet and I'd like to thank everyone at the Museum who continues to work so tirelessly to contribute to urgent global discussions about how best to address the planetary emergency and make a positive difference to the global future.'

The other four shortlisted museums are The Burrell Collection (Glasgow), Leighton House (London), The MAC (Belfast) and Scapa Flow Museum (Orkney Islands).

Each of the finalists will be visited by a judging panel who will then decide on who to crown the winner. This year the panel includes the artist Larry Achiampong, historian and broadcaster Mary Beard, Art Fund Trustee and Author Abadesi Osunsade, Director of National Museums Liverpool Laura Pye and the chair Art Fund Director Jenny Waldman.

Speaking on behalf of the judges, Jenny Waldman, Director of the Art Fund says, 'Congratulations to the Natural History Museum on being shortlisted for Art Fund Museum of the Year 2023.'

'All five of our finalists are at the top of their game, offering inspirational collections and programmes for their communities and for visitors from across the UK and around the world. From transformational redevelopment to community involvement to addressing the major issues of today, the shortlisted museums may operate at very different scales, but all show astonishing ambition and boundless creativity.'

'Each is a blueprint for future innovation in museums. Visit them if you possibly can.'

The winner of the Art Fund Museum of the Year 2023 will be announced on 12 July.