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British Museum scoops £100,000 Art Fund Prize and is crowned 'Museum of the Year'

British Museum

Michael Portillo, Chair of the Judges has announced that the British Museum has won the 2011 Art Fund Prize for its groundbreaking project A History of the World.

The Art Fund Prize annually awards £100,000 to a single museum or gallery for a project undertaken or completed the previous year that has wowed the judging panel through its excellence, originality and imagination.

A History of the World is an enormously successful project exploring world history through the British Museum’s unparalleled collection.  At the heart of the initiative was a 100 part series on BBC Radio 4, A History of the World in a 100 Objects, telling a narrative global history through British Museum objects from two million years ago to the present day. To realise the project the British Museum, the BBC and over 550 museums across the country came together to serve the public in an ambitious partnership that captured the imaginations of millions across the globe.

Michael Portillo, Chair of the Judges, said: “We were particularly impressed by the truly global scope of the British Museum’s project, which combined intellectual rigour and open heartedness, and went far beyond the boundaries of the museum’s walls. Above all, we felt that this project, which showed a truly pioneering use of digital media, has led the way for museums to interact with their audiences in new and different ways. Without changing the core of the British Museum’s purpose, people have and are continuing to engage with objects in an innovative way as a consequence of this project.”