The moment lies between the two darkness, waiting for us on all the lawns, the awful and shivering dark, enchants a fairy into donkey. The garden is waiting for the moment, waiting with plant patience to change the grass to wind and the human beings become silent. – Written by Amy Károlyi in the poem St. Ivan’s Night.
I would like not only to summon these thoughts regarding this year's Night of Museums, but also to go a little further with them. I would highlight three words from the poem: one is moment, the other is enchantment, the third is silence itself.
These are the three words that – with their halos of meaning – might characterize most accurately the national program series that will be held for the 17th time in Hungary this year. To experience the moment that a visitor can experience in front of a picture or an exhibited object in a museum, to experience the moment when we get to know and understand something is the kind of magic that is worth to partake in – be it about nature, science or arts. This meeting becomes silence in us: the silence of getting acquainted with the creation.
All the museums choose and fill-up this magic encased in moment according to their own image for this night-time program event that attracts a lot of visitors – however, the State Secretary for Culture also selects a priority topic and a leading city every year – and therefore gives a “personality” to each event of each year.
This year’s main ideas and highlighted topics are digitalization and travel. Maybe it is unnecessary to emphasize the importance and significance of these two notions, since they define our age to a great extent. Travelling became faster and cheaper over the past decades, bringing the treasures and values of faraway and exotic cultures within reach, while digitalization made almost everything that surrounds us searchable and even browsable from our homes: from works of art through the wonders of nature to the secrets of the cosmos.
This year Szombathely will be the leading city of the event. After Eger, Kecskemét, Debrecen and Pécs, a Western Transdanubian city gets the opportunity to take part in the Night of Museums as a prominent location. About half a million artefacts are preserved in the collection of the Savaria Museum of Szombathely, for example one can find the largest collection of indigenous plants from the Pannonian Epoch here. The Iseum is also an especially attractive location, where large part of the Savarian Shrine of the goddess Isis can be admired.
Dear Museum Visitors! On behalf of the organizers and the staff of all participating institutions, I wish You to take up this opportunity, go to as many programs and venues as possible, explore and discover how rich our world is!
Minister of State for Culture