MoLI wins prestigious Europa Nostra Award

19 Jul 2023

MoLI, the Museum of Literature Ireland, has been announced as winner of the 2023 European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards in the category of Citizen Engagement and Awareness-raising.

The European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards were launched by the European Commission in 2002 and have been run in partnership with Europa Nostra ever since. The Awards are supported by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union and celebrate and promote the highest standards and best practices in the conservation and enhancement of tangible and intangible cultural heritage.

MoLI was singled out by the Europa Nostra jury for its work as a heritage project fostering social cohesion, inclusion, multicultural dialogue and nurturing a sense of place and belonging.

In announcing the Award, the Jury commented:

“This community museum in Dublin, a UNESCO City of Literature, has established itself as a strong advocate for engagement and inclusivity. It has reached a significant number of participants, including 80,000 listeners for their podcast and 7,500 visitors from schools. The Museum of Literature Ireland actively celebrates diversity and promotes creativity and artistic expression through, for example, their bursaries. The museum’s effort to address the declining interest in literature among young people is commendable, as it ensures that the artform remains accessible and relevant”

“During the COVID-19 closures, the Museum of Literature Ireland showcased innovative ideas to reach its audiences. Through educational programmes, broadcasts and lectures, they effectively reach diverse communities, including marginalised groups, such as the LGBTQ+ community, with a solid methodology and a strong bottom-up approach. The museum has also given due recognition to the vital role of community and volunteers in sustaining and expanding the museum’s impact”.

Speaking on receipt of the news, MoLI’s Director, Simon O’Connor, said:

“The founding patrons and partners in UCD and the National Library of Ireland had the ambition and vision to create a major literary institution in the University’s original home that would open reading and writing to all audiences. We have never taken achieving that ambition for granted, and welcoming visitors from every imaginable walk of life to this spectacular facility has been at the centre of our work.

From toddlers to teenagers, academics to pensioners learning to read for the first time, sharing the empowering and democratic value of the written and spoken word is what motivates us every day. To receive this award is a welcome acknowledgement of that work, and due recognition for the vision of our partners and patrons. It is an award for them, and the community of visitors who inspire us.”

MoLI will be presented with the award alongside other winners in a ceremony in Venice on the 28th of September this year.