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Cornerstone laid for Pannon Observatory upgrade

Officials laid the cornerstone on Wednesday for a HUF 421 million renovation and expansion of the Pannon Observatory in Bakonybél (C Hungary), Balaton Highlands National Park Director László Balogh announced on Wednesday.

Balogh said that the park had won HUF 358 million in European Union tender funding for the investment, noting that Hungary's Ministry of Rural Development had also contributed HUF 63 million in support for the project, which will be completed in April 2012.

The Pannon Observatory will include a telescope park, digital planetarium and astronomical and space-research exhibitions following completion of the project, which will entail the renovation of an existing 400-square-meter building and construction of a new building of an identical size.

Balogh noted that a piece of Martian meteorite will be on display at the observatory.