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Szilárd Demeter Appointed as New Director General of the National Museum

Hungary Today 2024.02.28.

Szilárd Demeter, the current Director General of the Petőfi Literary Museum (PIM), has been chosen for the post of Director General of the Hungarian National Museum (MNM), János Csák, Minister of Culture and Innovation, told the National Cultural Council at its meeting on Tuesday. He announced the decision publicly in the evening on M5’s “This is the Question” program. Demeter’s appointment could lead to a merger of museums, which could also herald integration in other art branches, reports Index.

As Hungary Today previously wrote, in November, Minister of Culture János Csák, in his capacity as employer, handed over a letter of resignation to László L. Simon, Director General of the Hungarian National Museum. According to the minister, the Director General had failed to fulfill his legal obligations even when called upon to do so, and had engaged in conduct that made it impossible for him to continue his employment. The Ministry of Culture and Innovation also recognized Simon’s previous achievements in the field of culture. The likely reason for the incident and Simon’s dismissal is a recent initiative by Dóra Dúró, Member of Parliament and Vice President of the Our Homeland Movement (Mi Hazánk Movement), to prevent under-18s from visiting the highly popular World Press Photo (WPP) exhibition.

László L. Simon. Photo via Facebook/L. Simon László

Now that Szilárd Demeter’s victory has been revealed, it raises the issue of merging museums, which Index has previously addressed. In addition, László L. Simon wrote to the portal in response to a previous article that the idea of institutional integration raised in the article was an important topic, “…because, if I understood correctly, the person of one of the known applicants was mentioned because he could be the guarantee for the successful implementation of a merger plan.”

In his response, Simon argued for the importance of mergers in museums.

It is not yet known whether Demeter would merge the institutions, but one thing is certain: the Director General of the Petőfi Literary Museum was appointed for another five years from February 1, 2024, by Minister of Culture and Innovation János Csák, hence he will certainly not leave the PIM’s chair.

Moreover, the merger of the two museums – the national and the literary – has already been discussed:

following the merger of the PIM and the Károlyi Garden, the recently renovated garden of the National Museum, not far from the Károlyi Palace (housing the PIM), may also be linked in some way.

The Petőfi Literary Museum. Photo via Wikipedia

Museum integration can therefore begin with the merger of the Hungarian National Museum and the Petőfi Literary Museum, and this change could also herald similar reorganizations in other art sectors.

According to the forthcoming cultural law currently being discussed by the administration, expected to be submitted to parliament after the local and EU elections, flagships like the Hungarian National Museum would be created along similar lines, and would act as a kind of supervisor in the field. This would be the National Theater among the theaters.

Demeter will hold the post of Director General of the Hungarian National Museum from March 6, 2024, until March 5, 2029 at the latest.


Szilárd Demeter is a Hungarian writer, political analyst, publicist, and since December 2018, Director General of the Petőfi Literary Museum. He was the Ministerial Commissioner for the Integrated Development of the National Széchényi Library for a fixed term from January 1, 2020, to December 31. 2021.

Call for Applications for the Post of Director General of the National Museum
Call for Applications for the Post of Director General of the National Museum

Judit Hammerstein will hold the post until a new director is selected.Continue reading

Via Index; Featured image via Facebook/Magyar Nemzeti Múzeum

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