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Museum of Fine Arts reopens after three-year upgrade

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Marc Ryckaert/ Wikipedia

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán ceremoniously reopened Budapestʼs Museum of Fine Arts (Szépművészeti Múzeum) on Tuesday, following a three-year renovation costing HUF 15 billion, state news agency MTI reported. The museum reopens to the general public at noon today, October 31.

Orbán said the reopening of the museum is an "important milestone" for the Liget Budapest project, which will transform the Városliget (City Park) into a museum quarter. He noted that last year, visitors to Hungarian museums outnumbered the countryʼs entire population of just under 10 million.

The museumʼs heating system was upgraded, much of the roof replaced, and new exhibition and public spaces created during the renovations. The grand Romanesque Hall, closed since being severely damaged in World War II, was also restored to its former glory.

The Museum of Fine Arts reopens to the general public at noon on Wednesday, October 31. Therafter, regular opening hours for the museum building are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday to Sunday. As with most museums in Hungary, the building is closed on Mondays.

The museumʼs permanent exhibitions are now arranged according to a new concept, the official website explains. Besides treasures of Egyptian and Classical Antiquity, these include the history of European and Hungarian art until the end of the 18th century.

The museumʼs collection of art dating from 1800 onwards will be on show in the Hungarian National Gallery from December 7, 2018, as one section of the permanent exhibitions.

As the first temporary exhibition in the renewed Museum of Fine Arts, "Leonardo and the Budapest Horse and Rider" will display some 20 works to commemorate the approaching 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s death. Housed in the museum’s newly renovated Michelangelo Hall, ten drawings by Leonardo and sculptures by fellow artists inspired by the master will document a problem that remained unresolved during the Renaissance, and which Leonardo strove to answer for more than four decades: the creation of a free-standing rearing horse and rider.

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