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18 November 2017

A History of the World in 100 Objects wins Major Festivals and Events prize

The National Museum of Australia has won the Major Festivals and Events prize for its most popular ever exhibition, A History of the World in 100 Objects from the British Museum, at the Canberra Region Tourism Awards.

The Major Festivals and Events prize is awarded to projects that attract over 50,000 visitors and enhance the profile, appeal and finances of the destination. This is the second year in a row the Museum has won.

A History of the World in 100 Objects attracted 178,200 visitors from 9 September 2016 to 29 January 2017.

National Museum Director Dr Mathew Trinca said the award reflected the Museum’s commitment to powerful history storytelling, for both domestic and international audiences.

‘We are delighted to receive this award which reflects the Museum’s mission to bring to life the stories of Australia and the world through compelling objects, ideas and programs,’ he said.

‘It also brought nearly $20 million into the local economy,’ Dr Trinca said.

The Museum’s groundbreaking exhibition Encounters: Revealing Stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Objects from the British Museum (November 2015 – March 2016) won the award in the same category last year.

‘Domestic and international tourists to Canberra come to the National Museum to experience Australia’s rich cultural and social history and this will be amplified by the recent news that Lonely Planet has ranked Canberra third in its top cities in the world to visit in 2018,’ Dr Trinca said.

‘Our current breakthrough exhibition Songlines: Tracking the Seven Sisters is making headlines of its own around the country. We hope the Lonely Planet commendation gives people even more reason to visit Canberra — and to take in this extraordinary exhibition while they are here,’ he said.

A History of the World in 100 Objects showcased items from around the globe to explore the last two million years of human history, sourcing the oldest objects from the British Museum’s collection and incorporating those from the present day.

The annual awards reward tourism excellence. They were presented at a ceremony held in the Main Hall at the National Museum of Australia on 17 November 2017.

As a result of winning the ACT’s Major Festivals and Events prize, the National Museum’s A History of the World in 100 Objects is automatically a finalist in the 2017 Australian Tourism Awards, to be announced next February.

Media contact Tracy Sutherland, 02 6208 5338 | 0438 620 710 or

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