Conference article

The Processes of Contemporary Museum Constructions

Margaret Tali
University of Tallinn, Estonia

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Published in: Comparing: National Museums; Territories; Nation-Building and Change. NaMu IV; Linköping University; Norrköping; Sweden 18-20 February 2008

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 30:19, p. 243-261

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Published: 2008-05-20


ISSN: 1650-3686 (print), 1650-3740 (online)


New museum buildings in CEE are monuments that relate to negotiating new narratives of identity and statehood. Our aim in this article is to close-study the processes related to three museum constructions in Central Eastern Europe – Estonia; Hungary and Croatia. We examine the three public museums in the context of their locations; ranging from the suburbs to the city centres and study their establishment in the context of privatization; urbanisation; and reaching out for the audiences. The architecture of new museum buildings is seen as an outcome of historical and social processes growing out from the recent past of the three countries. In the contemporary arena the museum represents the reinterpreted relationships between private and public; as well as culture and money. All three new museum constructions have been driven by interests of different public authorities; neoliberal market actors; and to a lesser degree; by the local citizen society.


Central Eastern Europe; museum boom; museum architecture; spatial politics; audience engagement


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Web references

Contemporary Art Museum; Zagreb; Croatia;

LUMU; Ludwig Museum of Contemporary Art; Budapest;
Art Museum of Estonia;

Contemporary Art Museum; Riga; Latvia;
Warsaw Museum of Modern Art; Poland;

Compendium of European Cultural Policies;
Internet World Exposition 1996;

List of referred interviews carried out by the authors:

1. Interview with Marija Gattin; Head of the MSU archive; 18.05.2007.

2. Interview with Sirje Helme; Director; KUMU Museum; 4.07.2007.

3. Interview with Zsuzsanna Feher; Head of Communications Department; LUMU Museum 30.07.2007.

4. Interview with Piret Kullerkupp; Head of Collections; KUMU Museum 10.12.2007.

5 Interview with Peter Inkei; Director of Budapest Observatory; 3.01.2007.

6. Interview with Anna Balvanyos; Head of the Program Department; LUMU Museum; 3.01.2008.

7. Interview with Barnabas Benscik; Director of Agency for Contemporary Art Exchange; ACAX; Budapest 25.02.2008.

8. Interview with Ivan Ronai; Museums Expert; Hunagrian Ministry of Culture; 25.02.3007

9. Interview with Snjezana Pintaric; MSU Museum Director; Zagreb; 7.03.2008

10. Interview with Marika Valk; Art Museum of Estonia Director; Tallinn; 9.04.2008.

Citations in Crossref