The Forum of the Museums of the Turkic World Held Its Meeting in Budapest

The Forum of the Museums of the Turkic World held its meeting in the Museum of Ethnography in Budapest where they paid homage to the memory of Orientalist Vilmos Diószegi, the researcher of Shamanism who was born 100 years ago. During the event Ambassador János Hóvári, the Executive Head of the Representation Office of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS) in Budapest made a welcoming speech. The Forum elected the Museum of Ethnography in Budapest as its member. Their next meeting will be held in Shusha, Azerbaijan already this summer.

In his opening remarks, Lajos Kemecsi, the Director General of the Museum of Ethnography underlined that in 2022 they were able to move to their new home of 30.000 square meters which was built in the framework of the Liget Budapest Project. In less than a year the facility has already been visited by 360.000 people. Today you can view – among others – the opening exhibition with the title “We have arrived.” Beside it one can find the permanent display: “Zoom,” as well as the space for ceramics which is twice forty meters long. However, the greatest interest is being shown in the new permanent exhibition on 3.000 square meters to be opened next year. Lajos Kemecsi also stressed that besides its Hungarian collections, the Museum of Ethnography stores and keeps enriching a huge international collection. In the latter one, about 7.500 artifacts are connected to peoples that are our relatives in the linguistic or cultural sense. Outside Russia, this is the largest collection in Europe.

János Hóvári spoke highly about the new home of the Museum of Ethnography. In his opinion, it has been able to move to a marvelous building as far as both form and functions are concerned. The Ambassador, looking back at the history of Turkology in Hungary, briefed the participants on the work of Vilmos Diószegi. After this, he – among others – highlighted the activities of Turkologist Gyula Mészáros, who played a great role in establishing museum life in Türkiye, and was working as an advisor to Mustafa Kemal Atatürk on science, and initiated the founding of the Museum of Ethnography in Ankara.

Sirin Melikova, the Director of the Museum of Carpets in Baku, the rotating chairperson of the Association TÜRKSOY Museums reminded those present that the Turkic peoples are linked by strong bonds and shared values, and they can understand one another more or less without translation. The Azerbaijani Museologist also spoke highly about Vilmos Diószegi – the Hungarian ethnographer born 100 years ago – who is an acknowledged researcher into Shamanism. She recalled that Hungary has maintained close and friendly ties with the Turkic peoples for a long time. The relations between the Museum of Ethnography in Budapest and the Turkic world also have great traditions. During the two-day Forum of the Museums of the Turkic World, the participants walked through the building of the Museum of Ethnography and its exhibitions, and then conducted a discussion on the current activities and experiences of the museums in the Turkic world. They all recognized the life of the renewed Museum in Budapest that represents world standards. The Forum of the Museums of the Turkic World elected the Museum of Ethnography in Budapest as its member.

In the Hungarian National Museum it was Director General László L. Simon who received the Directors of the Museums of the Turkic world. He showed his Turkic colleagues the displays in the National Museum personally and also talked about the possibilities of renewing the materials of their exhibitions.

On the margins of the two-day deliberations several bilateral meetings were also held between the Hungarian and Turkic Museologists which were all dedicated to the opportunities for cooperation.

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