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A comprehensive presentation of the project financed in the framework of Békés County Government Regional Development Operative Programme

“The Museum of the 21st Century – Establishing New Exhibiting Areas and Developing Presentation Methods by New and Interactive Tools at Munkácsy Mihály Museum”


Applicant: Békés County Government Office

Project Partner: Directorate of Békés County Museums

Implementation site: Munkácsy Mihály Museum
(H-5600 Békéscsaba, Széchenyi u. 9.)

Total project budget: 314,074,767 Ft

ERDF Grant: 298,371,029 Ft

Grant intensity: 95%

Time of implementation:

The project was initiated in July 2006 and finished in January 2008. Complete project implementation period: 19 months.

Objective of the application:

The actual objective of the project was to equip, by interactive and presentation-friendly tools, the existing exhibiting areas in the interest of a visitor-friendly development of Munkácsy Mihály Museum; establishing new exhibiting areas by reconstructing the basement of the building and presenting there, by new methods and interactive tools, various new topics and exhibiting relics which could not have so far been presented to the public because of lack of space; establishing visitor-friendly, aesthetic and unhindered environment.

A comprehensive goal of the project was to establish a cultural attraction built on local potentials which, in itself or in collaboration with the exhibiting places of other museums, (Vésztő-Mágor Hill [Cellar Museum] and Csolt Monastery and Corn Museum) might as well offer cultural experiences for several days and, with the facilities of thermal tourism and the ecotourism of the Körös Valley, as well as the other sights and events of the area, may provide a complex product of tourism for visitors.

Contents of the project

Development consists of two main components.

On the other hand, establishing new exhibiting areas by reconstructing the basement and some of the underground halls of the building and presenting there, by new methods and interactive tools, various new topics and exhibiting relics which could not have so far been presented to the public because of lack of space and having artisan activities in the newly constructed areas.

Related to the two development concepts, another goal was to establish a visitor-friendly, aesthetic and unhindered environment is. By doing small reconstruction works (doors and windows, covering, plaster-work), by thermal insulation and by reconstructing the façade and the fencing, the building may recover its former aesthetic identity. The parking facility should be enlarged because of its very function and the unhampered access to the building will enable everybody to satisfy their thirst of culture in the Museum

Project results

While implementing the project, an inner and outer reconstruction of the Museum buildings took place and traffic for those living with special needs was provided for in the Museum.

As a result of the project, five new standing exhibitions are opened in the Museum (natural science, archaeology, local history economic ethnography and Munkácsy relics). At the exhibitions, visitors may encounter modern presentation methods.

In the hall of natural science, visitors may study, in an aquarium of more than 2,000 litres, the underwater world of the Körös rivers and they may watch a 3D film presenting the natural sights of the Körös rivers and Békés county. As part of the exhibition, a piece of 20 m2 of the floor is taken up by glass floor, under which a satellite picture of Békés county may be seen.

The most precious, the most beautiful and the most important relics from historic and archaeological aspects are exhibited at the exhibition of archaeology. Under the glass floor of the hall, photos taken of the graves explored during the excavations and the excavation sites may be viewed. The visitor may have the experience of being on an excavation site.

The glass motif is repeated at the exhibition of ethnography. In this case, a military map of Békés county of the late 19th century, enlarged, shows under the glass floor. Due to the presence of the Körös rivers, on a layout of 1 m x 2 m, so-called ‘fok’ economy is presented. ‘Fok’ economy was a one-time way of land cultivation in the flood area: by way of canals and a system of sluices (‘fok’) the quantity of water flooding the cultivated areas was regulated.

Owing to the agricultural past and the character of the area, in the middle of the hall of economic ethnography, a working maquette of a horse-driven mill, in operation, can be viewed by the visitors.

In the Hall of Munkácsy relics, so that the traditions be cherished and aiming at completeness be implemented, a collection consisting of several hundreds of Munkácsy relics is exhibited. With the help of a projector fixed to the ceiling, on a huge screen, visitors may view the collection of Munkácsy’ oeuvre in the form of digital photos taken with artistic claim.

The substance of knowledge on the exhibitions is contained in short animated film and audio point guidance terminals installed to the main units of exhibitions.

The young ones interested, may become familiar with the county’s popular art at artisan workshop activities. The tools and the programmes of the activities (rushwork pleating, plaiting of straw, puppet making of grain, weaving, making of popular toys, painting, drawing, pottery, enamel, etc.) are all organized closely connected to the exhibitions of ethnography and history. Participants, among others, may weave or make popular toys or puppets, decorating their works of art by motifs of popular art.

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