Miklós Kásler, Minister of Human Resources, said that in the past 12 years, the government has funded 103 cultural projects to the tune of HUF 890 billion (EUR 2.5bn). “Nurturing and strengthening national culture is a government priority,” Kásler said, adding that after decades of neglect, the country’s cultural infrastructure was in the process of being renewed. Hungary spends 1.3 percent of GDP on cultural projects, far higher than any other European country, he said. One-third of the programmes take place in Budapest and the rest elsewhere in the country, he said.
In the capital, the Hungarian State Opera House has been renovated and the Opera’s new multifunctional Eiffel Art Studios built, while among other large-scale renewal projects, the Liszt Academy of Music and the Várkert Bazaar were also fully renovated and upgraded.
The minister also highlighted the Budapest Liget Project — the construction of a museum quarter in and around City Park — launched in 2011.
Among projects in a preparatory and planning phase, Kásler noted the construction and relocation of the Transport Museum and the National Circus Arts Centre, the revamp of the Museum of Applied Arts, an Art Nouveau masterpiece, and the modernisation and expansion of the Hungarian National Archives. Cultural development projects outside Budapest have been carried out under the Modern Cities Programme, including thirty programmes to preserve the buildings of renowned organic architect Imre Makovecz, the minister said.
Photo credit: MTI