The Harlems Spirit Museum is this year’s European Museum

The Museum of the Soul in Haarlem was awarded the Best European Museum. The museum explores the nature of the human mind in a unique and innovative way.

The museum is located in Harlem in the huge Dolhuys, in a building that once housed a psychiatric institute. The collection focuses on the stigmas surrounding mental health and seven hundred years of healthcare history. The museum has been renovated and reopened in 2020, after a year and a half renovation.

In addition, the museum has an exhibition hall in the Hermitage in Amsterdam, aimed at the so-called outside art† “The artists of the Outsider Art Galerie are ‘a bit different. They often have a mental or psychiatric disability’,” this is how the museum describes the artworks in Amsterdam.

Allard Pearson and Comenius

The jury praised the Museum of the Soul, among other things, for embracing difference: “The museum tells stories of people who are stigmatized and excluded from society.” Dozens of European museums have been nominated, including Allard Pierson in Amsterdam and Comenius Museum in Naarden.

Last year’s winner was the Naturalis Leiden Museum, which reopened in August 2019 after a four-year renovation. The award is an initiative of the European Museums Forum, it is awarded to museums that contribute to a better understanding of the world, are innovative and set the standards for museums.

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Megan Vasquez

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