How do public collections in Hungary gather and display items relating to the culture and history of ethnically Hungarian areas beyond the country’s borders

MúzeumCafé 47.

According to Zsolt Gyarmati, historian and director of the Sekler Museum of Ciuc, it is not on the basis of origin that museums collect objects. He believes it is highly probable that the material and intellectual culture with ‘Hungarian character’ of the detached regions is mainly held by the Hungarian National Museum in Budapest and from there reaches large museums regarded as national. Accordingly, in the main these institutions are able to stage exhibitions on, for example, Transylvanian themes.


Gabriella Jarábik, director and curator of the Museum of Slovak Hungarian Culture, and curator Szilvia Sipos believe that their museum is incapable of paying close attention to how and whether museums in Hungary collect and display cultural and historical items of regions beyond the borders, since they themselves turn to museums and institutes in Hungary for help in connection with gathering objects for an exhibition.


Gábor Martos, editor-in-chief of MúzeumCafé, points out that this column usually presents four responses to a certain question. The magazine’s current main theme concerns Transylvanian museums hence as usual the question was adapted to that. It turns out that from the start the question may have been poorly formulated and unanswerable. Both contributors referred to this in their responses and so, as there is obviously no good answer to a bad question, they have not been able to address the matter raised. On the other hand, they provided interesting information about cross-border cooperation between Hungarian museums. Hence their words have been published. As it happens, the question was sent to more than four people for responses and alongside the two answers several refusals were received.