At an official ceremony on the evening of January 12th in the Serbian capital, Belgrade, the International Foundation for the Forum of Slavic Cultures (FSK) presented the Zhiva Awards for the best museum in a Slavic state. The prestigious award “Best site of cultural heritage”, which is awarded for the third time, won the Regional Open-Air Ethnographic Museum “Etar” – Gabrovo. For the first time a Bulgarian museum won a grand prize at this very prestigious international cultural forum. The Museum of the Year award went to the Konitz Museum of Wood Carving (Bosnia and Herzegovina). The event is being held in co-operation with the Ministry of Culture and Media of the Republic of Serbia and Serbian partner institutions. Twenty museums from 11 Slavic countries took part in the Living Prize competition. The seventh ceremony took place in Belgrade, and the previous venues were Skopje, St. Petersburg, Zadar, Bled, Prague and Bar. The jury consists of 13 museum experts from Slavic countries and the European Museum Academy. The Bulgarian representative in it is the director of the Cultural Heritage, Museums and Fine Arts Directorate of the Ministry of Culture – Ekaterina Dzhumalieva. In addition to the two major awards, several others were presented. The National Literary Memorial Museum of Ivan Franko in Lviv (Lviv, Ukraine) received a special recognition for leadership. The winner of the recognition for attention to visitors and accessibility is the Museum of Coal Mining in Zabrze (Zabrze, Poland). The Božidar Jakac Museum of Art (Kostanevica na Kruki, Slovenia) received a special recognition for its creativity. The Ivana Tales House Visitor Center (Ogulin, Croatia) was awarded for storytelling and the Yaroslavl Art Museum (Yaroslavl, Russian Federation) for good use of resources. The jury also decided to present an honorary award to the National Museum in Belgrade (Belgrade, Serbia). “Among the many important activities of the Forum is certainly the preservation of centuries-old values, the education of Slavic languages and the further development of Slavic cultural identities. These values can only be made more visible by working together to promote them globally. This promotes cultural diversity and at the same time contributes to Slavic cultures for global dialogue, “said Maya Gojkovic, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia and Chair of the Board of the Forum of Slavic Cultures. The Living Slavic Museum and Cultural Heritage Award “Living” is a platform that promotes and cultivates a dialogue about Slavic heritage and its uniqueness, but in the first place it is a space where we can meet Slavic heritage, get information about it, to to establish contacts, to make decisions for visits to various places and museums from Slavic countries “, said during the ceremony Andrea Richter, director of the Forum of Slavic Cultures. “The presence of a Bulgarian museum at this forum is a great honor for our country. Here we, the Bulgarians, feel among close people, we feel trust and serious support. Because we have all dedicated our work to an important mission – to work for the establishment of Slavic culture in the global world. The cultural achievements of the Slavic community are a world phenomenon without which the essence of human civilization cannot be explained. Each of the organizations present at this forum represents Slavdom, albeit from a different perspective. If you enter the Bulgarian museum “Etar”, of which I am the director, you will discover much of the past of its peoples. Thank you on behalf of our team for being a part of this great event for the Slavic world “, commented Prof. Dr. Svetla Dimitrova, Director of the Etar Museum, which was awarded the prize for the best heritage site in the Slavic countries. . In the seven years of its existence, the award has gathered more than 135 museums, according to information from the organizers.