Time has run out for Petőfi Events Hall, once a popular concert venue. The building ensemble, which was not exactly attractive even at the time of its construction, is past its prime and is now merely one of Városliget’s dilapidated sights.
The New National Gallery, which will be erected on this site, will be completed by 2019, and its world class building will provide a brand new exhibition venue for fine art works spanning the period from the 19th century until today.
Hosting permanent exhibitions more comprehensive than ever before as well as attractive temporary shows, the new museum will be an exciting venue for 21st-century Hungarian and European art. Returning to an old tradition, its previously divided collection will be reunited and all the masterpieces will be brought to audiences in one museum just like it was done by the Museum of Fine Arts from the early 20th century all the way up to the 1950s, and as is customary all across Europe.
The New National Gallery will be given a modern, state-of-the-art home on a floor space of some 50,000 square metres, in a building that will meet 21st-century requirements and represent outstanding architectural value, living up to the reputation of the more than one-hundred-year-old institutions of Városliget and to that of one of Hungary’s most important national public collections.
As a result of an international architectural competition, a Japanese architects’ office, the Pritzker prize-holding SANAA, is designing the museum building. (Their Hungarian design partner is the Bánáti and Hartvig architects’ office). Included among SANAA’s projects are many excellent museum buildings; for example, they designed the new museum of the Louvre in Lens, and The New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York.
The New National Gallery will be the largest museum in Hungary to document the modern history of the development of Hungarian and European fine art. It will collect, preserve and exhibit the masterpieces of Hungarian and international art from the beginning of the 19th century until the present time.
The New National Gallery regards it as its mission not to merely be a keeper of the heritage entrusted to it but functioning as an open institution to pass this heritage on by making it as widely accessible as possible for people to see, know and experience.