Mérida’s Gran Museo del Mundo Maya took the top prize as Best Emerging Cultural Destination of the Year in all of Central and South America. (Yes, we’re aware that Mexico is part of North America, but we won’t quibble.)
The modernistic museum dedicated to Mayan culture opened in 2012 to great acclaim.
Mexico City also took top honors in what has been called the “Oscars” for museums. The capital was named Best Emerging City for Culture while beating out Manchester, England; Oslo, Norway; Palma de Mallorca, Spain; and Venice, Italy.
Merida’s museum was up against the Museum of Memory and Tolerance and the Museo Somaya in Mexico City, the Biomuseo in Panama City, La Ene in Buenos Aires and the Rio Museum of Art in Rio de Janeiro.
The evening’s top winner, announced in London, was the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Leading Cultural Destination of the Year.
Some big “stars,” such as the Louvre in Paris, were overlooked in favor of new arrivals like the Oita Prefectural Art Museum in Japan, and Frank Gehry’s Foundation Louis Vuitton in Paris, according to CNN.