Two museums in Scotland have won the most prestigious museum prize in the world.

Art Fund Museum Of The Year has been awarded to five venues across the country, sharing an impressive £200,000 prize.

This year, Aberdeen Art Gallery and Gairloch Museum have been recognised in the award, based on their achievements in 2019-20.

Other winners included Towner Eastbourne, and in London, the Science Museum and South London Gallery.

Aberdeen Art Gallery was praised for an “ambitious redevelopment project in the museum’s 135-year history, completely reimagining the gallery so its extraordinary treasures, and the stories they tell can be celebrated, shared and better understood.”

Councillor Marie Boulton, Aberdeen City Council’s culture spokesperson, said: “Covid-19 abruptly halted the fantastic momentum that had built since Aberdeen Art Gallery re-opened in November 2019 following the redevelopment.

"We welcomed over 100,000 visitors in under 100 days and then suddenly, we were closed again. Being a Museum of the Year winner is the best ‘welcome back’ present imaginable."

Jenny Waldman, Director of Art Fund, said: Congratulations to Aberdeen Art Gallery. The five Art Fund Museum of the Year 2020 winners are exceptional examples of museums offering inspiration, reflection and joy in the heart of communities.

"The UK’s museums - admired worldwide and vital locally - were thriving before Covid-19. Now they can help rebuild our communities and confidence as we emerge from the virus.” 

Malcolm Roughead, chief executive of VisitScotland, said: “I was thrilled to hear that not one but two Scottish venues had been chosen amongst the five winners of the Art Fund’s prestigious Museum Of The Year prize.

“Although very different in their cultural offerings, Aberdeen Art Gallery and Gairloch Museum are equally deserving of this accolade, having both made huge efforts to demonstrate - for the purposes of this award - that their work over the previous year has stood out way beyond that of their competitors.

“At the heart of Gairloch Museum’s relocation and reopening has been a huge community effort from a fantastic volunteer base, to successfully secure £2.4m in funding to redevelop and transform a derelict military bunker into such a fantastic new visitor attraction. For such a small community, this is inspirational.

“Aberdeen Art Gallery reopened in November following its ambitious £34.6m redevelopment. It is not only a beautiful building and world-class arts complex but also an exciting visitor destination, blending the historic with the contemporary.

“I would like to personally congratulate both venues for shining a spotlight on and further strengthening the cultural offering for visitors to Scotland during what has been a hugely challenging year for the tourism industry”