Showing posts with label research. Show all posts
Showing posts with label research. Show all posts

Sunday, December 08, 2019

Monument Protection Archives Reopen in Budapest

Viktor Myskovszky's drawing of the Saint Michael chapel
 at Kassa (Košice, SK)


The national system of monument protection has been through many changes in Hungary during the last few years: have a look at the diagram on the website of the institution to get an idea. I did not report on every step of this process (the most recent overview dates from almost three years ago)  - which led to the complete closing of Hungary's National Office for Cultural Heritage. While day-to-day tasks of heritage protection are carried out by various ministries and government offices, the care of the rich archives of the national office was uncertain for some time.
Finally in 2017, the Archives were handed over to the Hungarian Academy of Arts. This institution is now called Hungarian Museum of Architecture and Monument Protection Documentation Centre. The Academy took care of moving the collections to a new, temporary location, where now they have been made accessible again. As indicated by the name, part of this collection is that of the Hungarian Museum of Architecture, which is also supervised by the Hungarian Academy of Arts.



The Monument Protection Document Service represents the most significant collection of archival material for the study of the historic Kingdom of Hungary. Material accumulated at the archives since 1872, the foundation of the Temporary Committee for Historic Monuments, and it covers the entire territory of the Carpathian basin. All the documentation of the major restorations carried in Hungary during the last decades of the 19th century can be found there, along with documents surveying monuments of the land. During the 20th century, material continued to accumulate there.

The Document Service consists of the following parts:
  • Historical archives - this is where all the documentation is kept, along with correspondence
  • Collection of plans - plans and drawings are kept here, along with a super-important collection of watercolor copies of medieval wall paintings
  • Photo repository - the largest collection of historic photographs of Hungarian monuments
  • Library - Hungary's most important library specialized in monument protection, restoration, etc.
Copy of wall painting at Mártonhely (Martjanci, SLO) by István Gróh

The English page of the website of the institution provides more information on the holdings. The reason for this post is to announce that as of December 2, 2019, the Monument Protection Documentation Services are once again accessible for researchers. This at least is good news. This might be a good point to mention that all of the earlier publications of the National Office of Monuments Protection are available online in the hungaricana.hu database. 

Romanesque stone carvings from Pécs cathedral, photo by Péter Gerecze


Sunday, July 16, 2017

Second part of Seuso Treasure returns to Hungary

Three years after first part of the Seuso Treasure returned to Hungary, the second half of the Roman-era silver objects were acquired by Hungary, it was announced by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and László Baán, director of the Museum of Fine Arts on July 12th. Over the past few years, the government had negotiated with two family foundations on compensation for handing back the treasure, which Hungary claims rightfully belongs to the state. The government paid 28 million euros for the second tranche, paid as "compensation fee" rather than a purchase price.


The 4th century Seuso Treasure was found in the 1970s near lake Balaton, and then smuggled abroad. You can read more about its history in my post from three years ago. For more information, read this two-part overview written by Mihály Nagy for Hungarian Review, published after the return of the first half of the Treasure: Lifting the curse on the Seuso Treasure, Part I. and Part II.


The second batch recovered by Hungary consists of seven objects, including the so-called Achilleus and the Meleagros plates, the animal-figure ewer, the Hyppolytos-ewer and two buckets with similar decoration, as well as an amphora. Now that all 15 known objects from the treasure are in Hungary, more research will commence on this unique ensemble. This will include archaeological excavations on the site where it is suspected the objects were originally found. The full treasure is believed to have consisted of a lot more pieces. The recovered pieces are currently on view at the Hungarian Parliament building, and will be shown later at the Hungarian National Museum.

Photos: Kormany.hu





Saturday, April 11, 2015

Research about the Jagiellonians

Bernhard Strigel: Saint Ladislas of Hungary interceding
with the Virgin  for Vladislas II, King of Hungary. 

As the online journal Obeliscus reports, an international conference takes place in Debrecen these days (April 10-11, 2015), dedicated to the Jagiellonians. Titled The Jagiellonians in Europe: Dynastic Diplomacy and Foreign Relations, this international conference and roundtable is dedicated mainly to historical questions. The full program is available on the website of Debrecen University.  The material of the conference will be published soon.

Then coming up next week, the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna will host a conference to commemorate the First Congress of Vienna of 1515. This meeting of the Habsburg emperor, Maximilian I, and the Jagiellonian brothers, Vladislas II, King of Hungary and King of Bohemia, and Sigismund I, King of Poland, was a turning point in the history of central Europe, due to the Habsburg-Jagiellonian mutual succession treaty made there. The meeting and the treaty ultimately led to almost 400 years of Habsburg rule in Hungary, after the death of King Louis II at the battle of Mohács in 1526. The program of the international conference can be consulted on the website of the KHM. Update: the Museum also launched an online database commemorating the Congress (which in its current state does not seem to be all that usefeul). You can find it here.


A few years after the huge exhibition held at three venues and dedicated to the art and culture of the Jagiellonians, these events indicate continued interest in the Jagellonian dynasty. This is also shown by a major new research project dedicated to the dynasty, which commenced last year. Based at the History Faculty, University of Oxford, the five-year project is supported by the European Union. On the Oxford Jagiellonians research project, see the information provided by Medieval Histories, or visit the website of the project.