St Fagans in Wales named museum of the year

Image copyright St Fagans
Image caption Recent additions include a reconstructed Iron Age farmstead

A Welsh museum made up of re-erected ancient buildings has been named museum of the year.

St Fagans National Museum of History beat four other contenders to secure the £100,000 prize.

The Cardiff museum completed a £30m redevelopment last year, adding new exhibitions and hands-on workshops to its collection of historical buildings.

The last Welsh institution to win the prize was the Big Pit National Coal Museum in 2005.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Other exhibits include an original 19th Century shop front

The award, Britain’s biggest single art prize, was known as the Gulbenkian Prize at the time.

HMS Caroline in Belfast, Nottingham Contemporary. Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford and V&A Dundee also made this year’s shortlist.

Each will receive £10,000 in recognition of their achievements.

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Image copyright St Fagans
Image caption Visitors can watch blacksmiths demonstrate traditional skills

Founded in 1948, St Fagans is one of Wales’ most popular heritage attractions.

Stephen Deuchar, Art Fund director and chair of the judges, said it was “a truly democratic museum” that “lives and breathes the culture, history and identity of Wales”.

“It was made by the people of Wales for people everywhere,” he continued. “I can’t think of a single person who wouldn’t enjoy visiting this incredible place.”

Image copyright St Fagans
Image caption The Art Fund charity has supported Museum of the Year since 2008

Artist Jeremy Deller presented this year’s prize to David Anderson, director general of National Museum Wales, at the Science Museum in London on Wednesday.

BBC London arts reporter Brenda Emmanus and Scottish artist David Batchelor were among the 2019 judges.

Recent winners of the prize include Tate St Ives, the Hepworth Wakefield gallery and the Whitworth in Manchester.

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