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Night of Museums
Dear Visitor!

What is a museum? It is a homelike building that offers entrance to history and to our cultural heritage. It helps us understand who we are and what our role is in the world. The museum building stands still but at the same time it sets our imagination in motion and it protects us. It protects us as our family home does. A museum is the home of our cultural and national heritage.

But our home is more than vitrines, glass-cases and paintings on the wall, as our museums are also more than spaces furnished with objects. A museum becomes an institution by us as we continue the stories of the objects in our minds and as we occupy the spaces.

The Long Night of Museums is being organized for the 11th time in Budapest and for the 9th time in the country. Its time conforms to the longest night of the year, Midsummer Day.

The celebration of the summer solstice is the time for laying cultic fires. Laying a fire on Midsummer Night was believed to protect against illnesses.
The Long Night of Museums protect us from oblivion, its imaginary fire illuminates our accumulated values and brings them again under spotlight.
This year, thousands of programmes await visitors at more than 300 venues throughout the country. Several institutions have already joined in the events of previous years, but fortunately, there are always new institutions also willing to do so, who take on the tasks of organization. By now, the event outgrew itself, libraries, archives, theatres and cultural centres also offer programmes at this night. The goal is common: to lure the general public to public collections and into the institutions and to overwrite the old misbelief that in a museum one can take a boring walk and see dusty, inanimate objects.

Turning over the pages of this booklet, I can wholeheartedly say that museum professionals also got the rhythm of the demands of the 21st century man: they offer knowledge to the visitors in a colourful, exciting and spectacular form, and they prove that we can improve our knowledge in an entertaining way.
I believe this event also brings us closer to our unhidden goal i.e. to make it fashionable for Hungarians to visit museums and to wait for, to wish admission in winding queues not just in front of cinema entrances but also in front of the museums.

I wish all of you, the Visitors of the Long Night of Museums, positive and inspiring experiences for this night.

Zoltán BALOG
Minister of Human Resources
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