The renovation of the Museum of Fine Arts will be completed by the end of 2017, and the building will be re-opened to the public in 2018.
The comprehensive reconstruction of the institution is simultaneously aimed at the restoration of the building’s historic values and at the modernisation of its technological and operational systems to meet 21st-century requirements. In addition, the museum’s permanent exhibition will be radically expanded since Hungarian artworks will return to the Museum of Fine Arts after more than four decades of being forced out of the building.
Of the entire Hungarian material, which was removed from the museum’s collection in two stages – in 1957 and in 1975 –, the works of the old masters will be again displayed in their old home. Thus, besides displaying the art of Egypt and Ancient Antiquity, the history of international and Hungarian art will be presented all the way up to the end of the 18th century.
The Museum of Fine Arts building, opened in 1906, underwent several partial reconstruction works after 1990 – the most recent one of these was the renovation of the facade in 2008 – but the renovation and the comprehensive civil engineering development of the western, or Romanesque wing, has been necessary for decades.
The three-year-long reconstruction project realised within the framework of the Liget Budapest Project will be carried out on 14,000 square metres, constituting some 40% of the museum’s total floor space.
The museum’s impressive Romanesque Hall – which was badly damaged during World War II, and not renewed substantially and thus closed to the general public and used as a storage area – will also be renewed as part of the reconstruction works. New exhibition spaces, visitor service areas and modern storage facilities will also be added.
The Renaissance Michelangelo Hall, which had been crudely converted into an office space, will also be renewed. The complete technical modernisation of this wing will also be realised: the museum’s outdated heating system will be re-hauled; air conditioning will be extended to a significantly larger number of halls; a new power grid will be built; and the security and IT systems will also be entirely modernised.
After the vicissitudes of many decades, the Museum of Fine Arts’ collection of plaster casts will again be exhibited.
Thanks to the reconstruction and comprehensive renewal of the Csillagerőd (Star Fortress) in Komárom, these special relics of art history will finally be given a permanent home. Csillagerőd was originally built as part of the system of fortifications at Komárom for military purposes but it did not sustain any war damage due to the lack of military action in the area. The renovated building will be an ideal venue to display the plaster casts. The often monumental plaster sculptures will be placed in an edifice to be erected in the inner courtyard of the fortress. The special collection will serve the needs of education, knowledge dissemination and science.