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Learning From the Inca’s Golden History

The current exhibition of invaluable Inca gold at the Komplex Event Hall is just the latest milestone for Zsuzsanna Oláh and JVS Group Hungary.

Zsuzsanna Oláh

The company has been behind recent high-profile exhibits such as Body, Titanic and Mummies of the World, all of which have aimed to set a new standard for education-focused exhibitions in the country.  The latest edition of this series puts the gold heritage of the Incas on display with the support of the Peruvian government, which is making the 200th anniversary of Peru.

“We are talking about one of the most valuable gold collections of the world, and not only in the sense of weight or quality, but rather its priceless nature,” Oláh, marketing and communications director of JVS Group Hungary tells the Budapest Business Journal.

The 100 artifacts in the exhibition feature hand-made motives that can hardly be reproduced even with cutting-edge technology. According to the rmx.news website, the total value of the exhibits comes to HUF 3 billion.

Visitors have been flocking to see this unique collection since its opening on March 13 at the Komplex Event Hall (Király utca 26, in Pest’s District VI). The venue is open from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m., with tickets costing from HUF 3,800-4,400. Although all age groups will find something to grab their attention, interestingly it seems it is the elderly who are most fascinated.  

“Under communism they learned a lot about the Inca civilization, but at the time it all seemed to be out of reach for them,” notes Oláh. “Now that they can inspect this ‘forbidden’ treasure close-up, it’s a huge thing for them.”

Golden Path

The young will also find plenty of interest. Workbooks present the Inca gold, the history of America’s European colonization and the impact of America on Europe in playful yet informative form that tells children all they need to know about the topic.

A “golden path” has even been created for the children where they are accompanied by a little Indian who explains everything to them. Interactivity is another way to get visitors immersed in the mysteries of South American: a number of audio and visual effects complete the experience.

When you hear about Incas, Mayas or Aztecs, a rather bloody aspect of their culture often pops in mind, namely their habit of making human sacrifices.

“Indeed, this belongs to their civilization, but the exhibit builds in no way on that violent past, but rather on the artistic values of the Inca society,” Oláh explains.

Competitive Culture

A PR veteran with a diverse professional track record, she says she found peace in culture, but adds that the competition is actually fiercer than in business or politics.

“When I worked as political and business strategy advisor, I was really in the thick of it, not to mention the ten years I spent in the hotel sector as a sales executive. I reached a point in my career where I wanted things to calm down a bit, and dealing with culture is the perfect way to achieve this,” Oláh tells the BBJ.

But that does not mean her role within a company organizing world class exhibitions is not without pressure (see separate story).
“You would believe that nothing beats politics and business when it comes to pressure. But actually the entertainment industry is a lot more competitive, with no willingness to consult even on basic issues,” she notes.

Oláh says she finds this attitude rather counterproductive since it’s about letting Hungarian culture thrive after all. Still, being active in this segment is fully refreshing for her.

“There’s one thing I could never fall out of love with, though, and that is Chinese business,” she adds. She says she has deep-rooted business relationships with the Far Eastern country, and so she continues to act as a communications expert for the Bank of China alongside her busy culture projects.

The Inca exhibit will run till August, but she’s already preparing for the next big thing in the fall, another exhibit although she won’t divulge what it is at this stage. “All I can tell you it’s going to be extraordinary and great.” What else would it be?

Under Pressure

The organizers of the Inca exhibit have not had their task made any easier for them. A PR bomb was dropped by leading online news portal, Index.hu on the opening day. It questioned the validity of the exhibited pieces, claiming that the Peruvian museum from which they come had been known for lending falsified golden artifacts to global partners. The matter didn’t end up in court, however, after the documents evidencing the authentic origin of the objects were published by Origo.hu, another mainstream news site. Zsuzsanna Oláh suspects competitors were behind the negative campaign. “We were the first to come up with extraordinary thematic fairs, and all of a sudden all those players who had been active in concert promotion wanted a piece of the pie,” she says. “My solid track record in political and business counselling provided an invaluable basis for conflict management thanks to which the issue didn’t harm our reputation at all.”

Zsuzsanna Oláh 

Zsuzsanna Oláh started her career at the protocol section of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before filling various positions in the hotel business at Intercontinental, the Marriott Group and Gerbaud in Budapest. She left the sector as director of a four-star hotel. Later she co-founded the RedOne Event agency and became communications adviser to the Bank of China and FIFA Congress. In 2015 she founded Felhang PR and production agency that worked for companies such as Henkel, NISZ, IKEA, TV2 and various Chinese companies. From 2017 she has been director of marketing and communications of JVS Group Hungary.