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Museum Of Parliament Reopens After 66 Years

By Ferenc Sullivan // 2015.03.09.

The Museum of Hungary’s Parliament was reopened on Friday after 66 years.

Addressing the opening ceremony, Speaker of Parliament László Kövér said the museum reflected the Hungarian nation’s intention to learn and draw strength from the past rather than to eradicate it. The museum’s permanent exhibition entitled “A Thousand Years of Hungarian Legislation” shows that Hungarians in the 21st century still believe in a thirst for freedom, in self-determination and constitutionalism and in their ability to run a state, Mr. Kövér said. The Speaker of the National Assembly emphasised that Hungary was the first country in Europe to establish such a museum. The exhibition follows the history of Hungarian political representation from feudal times to modern parlamentarianism.

From 1929 to 1949, the Parliament building accommodated a museum but its 16,000-piece collection was wound up by the post-WWII communist regime. Although the former collection is not part of the exhibition, many of its most valuable pieces have been put on show, such as Lajos Kossuth’s desk or the prime ministerial chair used by Hungary’s first premier, Lajos Batthyány. The project, hosted by Parliament’s visitor centre, cost nearly 300 million forints (EUR 987,000) and was made possible by the Imre Steindl Programme.

In March and April, the museum can be visited free of charge after registration on Parliament’s website. During the running year, two additional exhibitions – one introducing the Parliament building and its artwork, another a lapidary – are to open in the building of the National Assembly.

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photo: Magyar Nemzet/Béla Nagy