The new building of the Ethnographic Museum in Városliget was ceremoniously handed over on Sunday, 22 May, MTI reported. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán was also present at the handover ceremony. The Prime Minister emphasized that they wanted a building where the natural beauty of Hungarian folk culture could unfold to the fullest.

The Prime Minister also pointed out that the form of the previous Curonian Spit building of the Ethnographic Museum in Kossuth Square does not fit the content, but the new building is different because the content and the form meet in it. He added: "This building reflects the belief that there is beauty in the world that twelve can be unique in a world of a dozen cubicle buildings and unimaginable office complexes that fit its surroundings, grab the eye and captivate the soul."

The Prime Minister also delivered a speech at the handover ceremony (Photo: MTI / Zoltán Fischer, Prime Minister's Press Office)

In his speech, the Prime Minister also announced that all the planned buildings of the Liget Budapest program will be implemented. “While everyone was proving that it is not possible, we are moving step by step, building from building to building, and even on 3 April, the Hungarian people confirmed that we did well and that we still think that Europe its largest cultural investment must be fully completed. I feel that we have received the authorization to implement the entire program, ”said Viktor Orbán.

It was also said at the handover that this is the first building in the history of the 150-year-old institution specifically tailored to the needs of the Ethnographic Museum. The institution, founded in 1872, was separated from the Hungarian National Museum in 1892. Between 1924 and 1975, the prestigious ethnographic collection was housed in an Art Nouveau building at 40 Könyves Kálmán Boulevard. Subsequently, the institution was housed in the Palace of Justice, designed by Alajos Hauszmann, at 12 Kossuth Lajos Square, after the Hungarian National Gallery moved into the converted Budavár Palace.

A green recreation park has been set up on top of the new Ethnographic Museum, where even trees can grow comfortably (Photo: MTI / Zoltán Máthé)

The Liget Budapest Project, aimed at the renewal of Városliget, was launched in 2012. As part of this, an international design competition was announced in 2016 for the design of the new building of the Ethnographic Museum, which was won by the Hungarian architectural firm NAPUR Architect. The building is special in several ways. 60 percent of the museum is below ground, with its center completely falling below the surface. A recreation park has been set up on top of the 300-meter building, where even the trees can grow comfortably. The new Ethnographic Museum is 33,000 square feet in size, with two levels underground and three levels above the surface. The permanent exhibitions will be open on 4,500 square meters and the temporary exhibitions on 2,500 square meters. In addition, a children's museum, a library and a conference room have been set up in the building.

As it is written, the new Ethnographic Museum will open its doors to visitors on Monday, 23 May.

Source: MTI

Cover photo: The new Ethnographic Museum was handed over in Városliget (Photo: MTI / Zoltán Máthé)