V&A Dundee in running for world’s richest museum honour

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Dundee’s new V&A museum is in the running to win the world’s most lucrative museum prize - less than a year after opening its doors.

The city’s acclaimed waterfront attraction has been named one of five contenders for the £100,000 Art Fund Museum of the Year title.

The museum was designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma who said he wanted to create a "living room for the city".' Pic: John Devlin

The museum was designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma who said he wanted to create a "living room for the city".' Pic: John Devlin

Designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, it is the only Scottish attraction in the running for the honour, which is also Britain’s richest cultural award.

More than half a million visitors have flocked to V&A Dundee since the building opened in mid-September, while its arrival on the waterfront has helped Dundee become rated one of the world’s “must-visit” destinations in 2019.

V&A Dundee’s rivals for the title include the Royal Navy museum at the decommissioned HMS Caroline in Belfast’s “Titanic Quarter,” the Nottingham Contemporary gallery, the Pitt Rivers Museum at Oxford University and the St Fagans National Museum of History in Cardiff.

Previous winners of the Art Fund’s title include the V&A’s original 19th century attraction in London, Yorkshire Sculpture park, the Tate St Ives gallery in Cornwall and the Ulster Museum in Belfast.

There has only been one previous winner of the award north of the border, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, in Edinburgh, in 2004.

The judges for the Art Fund prize hailed V&A Dundee as “both a striking intervention and a feat of engineering.”

They added: “Born from a unique partnership between the V&A, local government, universities, enterprise and communities, the new museum has helped regenerate the area. It showcases international design alongside the outstanding achievements of Scotland in its permanent design galleries and a programme of major exhibitions.”

V&A Dundee director Philip Long said: “It is an honour for everyone who has helped create, launch and run V&A Dundee for the museum to be shortlisted for Art Fund Museum of the Year.

“It recognises achievements in a year when we reached the milestone of engaging over 100,000 people some six months before opening the museum, travelled across Scotland to work with young people, and then launched the museum with a thrilling family festival of design and music.

Council leader John Alexander said: “The achievements of V&A Dundee just over six months following its opening are nothing short of remarkable. We’re at the centre of unprecedented international attention and we’re all working hard to create more exciting opportunities.”