6 of the world’s most amazing cultural experiences to add to your travel bucket list
Dubbed the ‘Oscars of the museum world’, the Leading Cultural Destinations Awards celebrate the most impactful cultural destinations all over the world, with prizes given in 12 different categories.
This year’s winners have just been announced, shining a light on both established and emerging destinations. Here are six of the successful institutions…
1. Paracas Museum, Lima, Peru
Winner: New Culture Destinations of the Year – Latin America
While most tourists will have Machu Picchu on their must-see list, the Paracas Museum also offers fascinating insight into an ancient Peruvian civilisation. The archaeological museum traces the evolutionary process of the Paracas culture, textiles, ceramics and daily life, with many of the exhibits coming from the nearby Paracas necropolis – the oldest archaeological site in the region containing burial sites that are more than 2,000 years old. The Paracas were experts at mummifying their dead, and their peculiar practices of cranial deformation and brain surgery can be seen on many of the exhibits.
2. Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town, South Africa
Winner: Leading Culture Destination of the Year – Overall Winner
New Culture Destinations of the Year – Africa/Middle East
The newly opened Zeitz MOCAA is the largest contemporary art museum on the continent, with 100 galleries spread over nine floors and a boutique hotel at the top, and has been hailed as ‘Africa’s Tate Modern’. Zeitz MOCAA collects, preserves, researches and exhibits 21st century art from Africa and its diaspora, centred around the private collection of Jochen Zeitz. The museum itself is in a converted grain silo on Cape Town’s iconic V&A waterfront, an area regenerated 30 years ago for retail, restaurant, real estate and tourism.
3. TeamLab, Tokyo, Japan
Winner: Leading Culture Destinations of the Year – Digital Experience
The world’s first digital art museum was opened by Japanese art collective teamLab and features 50 of their technicolour digital masterpieces in a huge 10,000sqm space spread across five zones. Some 520 computers and 470 projectors power the digital artworks, which completely transform their physical space using animated graphics, colour and light.
4. Museum of Tomorrow, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Winner: Soft Power Destinations of the Year – Best Cultural Organisation
Housed in a building which could rival Christ the Redeemer as one of Rio’s most famous tourist sights, the Museum of Tomorrow mixes science and art to explore the biggest topics of our generation – climate change, sustainability, social justice and gender equality. With an almost entirely digital main exhibition which focuses on ideas rather than objects, the public is guided through five major areas: Cosmos, Earth, Anthropocene, Tomorrow and Us.
5. Garden Museum, London, UK
Winner: Leading Culture Destinations of the Year – Restaurant
Britain’s only museum dedicated to the art, history and design of gardens, London’s Garden Museum reopened its doors in 2017 following an 18-month redevelopment project. In addition to a permanent display of paintings, tools, ephemera and historical artefacts, an array of temporary exhibitions and events celebrate the best of British gardens and gardening. One of the jewels in the Garden Museum’s crown is its Garden Café, which offers a daily menu focusing on simple, seasonal and quality food.
6. Fogo Island, Newfoundland, Canada
A residency-based contemporary art venue located off the coast of Newfoundland in Canada, Fogo Island Arts was established in 2008 and provides support for artistic exploration and production for artists, filmmakers, writers, musicians, curators, designers, and thinkers from around the world. Artists-in-residence come to the island to do research and selected artists are invited to present their work in exhibitions at the Fogo Island Gallery, which is located in the Fogo Island Inn.