Reconstructed Museum of Fine Arts Budapest to reopen on 31 October this year

27 February 2018.

After more than three years of reconstruction, the Museum of Fine Arts Budapest will reopen its doors this October. The museum will await visitors in its renovated building with permanent exhibitions arranged according to a new concept after its collection’s reunification with that of the Hungarian National Gallery. The renewed institution and the new exhibitions will be opened to the general public in two stages: the spaces in the basement and the recently renovated Romanesque wing can be visited from 31 October, and all the new exhibitions can be viewed from the middle of 2019.

The museum reconstruction implemented within the framework of the Liget Budapest Project included the restoration of the Romanesque Hall, which had sustained severe damage in World War II and since then had been only partially renovated and used as a storage area, the modernisation of the building’s obsolete heating system, the installation of air conditioning in some of the exhibition halls, the renewal of the roof structure above the Romanesque Hall, as well as the addition of visitor areas and modern storage facilities as well as almost 2,000 square metres of new exhibition space.

Hungarian art will return home to the Museum of Fine Arts again after more than four decades of absence, thus exhibiting the history of universal and Hungarian art until the end of the 18th century together with its treasures of Egyptian and Classical Antiquity. Simultaneously with this, the Museum of Fine Arts’ collection of art after 1800 will be temporarily moved (until the opening of the New National Gallery) to the Hungarian National Gallery; thus, visitors can view Hungarian and international masterpieces of more than the last two centuries together until 2021, when the New National Gallery is scheduled to open its doors in the City Park.

The reopening of the Museum of Fine Arts in October this year is accompanied by a special temporary dossier exhibition premiere. Visitors will be initiated into the mystery surrounding one of the most famous works of the museum: Leonardo da Vinci’s Rearing Horse and Mounted Warriorwill be displayed in the renovated and now reopened Michelangelo Hall together with other masterpieces by the Renaissance master and his contemporaries loaned by foreign collections and seen in Hungary for the first time. Leonardo’s ten drawings and the sculptures of his fellow artists inspired by the master will faithfully document the 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. The Budapest show kicks off the international series of events organised to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Leonardo’s death.

The international exhibition of works selected from the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts and the Hungarian National Gallery continues in 2018. After the highly successful shows in London, Rome, Paris, Milan and Madrid, the reunited collection will travel to Buenos Aires, which will also be a debut appearance of the museum in South America. Masterpieces from the Renaissance to Romanticism – The Collection of the Museum of Fine Arts Budapest and the Hungarian National Gallery will run in the National Museum of Fine Arts Argentina from the end of March through the end of July.

After last year’s successful exhibition at the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid, the Museum of Fine Arts will return to the Spanish capital, this time presenting the entire oeuvre of Vasarely at the show titled Vasarely and Op Art, to run from June through September. A large part of the material will arrive in Madrid from the Vasarely Museum in Budapest but there will be works loaned by the Vasarely Museum in Pécs, the artist’s heir Pierre Vasarely, and the collection of the Vasarely Foundation.