The opening of a photo exhibition by Rudolf Klein that presents a brief survey of synagogues converted into museums and galleries in Hungary, Austria, Bosnia‐Herzegovina, Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, Serbia and Slovakia. The exhibit runs until January 16, 2020.
The opening includes talks (in English) by Klein, Polish researcher Natalia Romik, and Professor Thomas Gergely.
Prior registration is required. Click here
The event is organized in collaboration with the Great Synagogue of Europe, the Balassi Institute, the Polish Institute and the Austrian Cultural Forum.
Dr. Maroš Borský, director of the Jewish Community Museum in Bratislava, Slovakia will give an overview of the remarkable life of Jewish heritage pioneer Eurgen Bárkány, the collection he built, and its future. He will also discuss current synagogue restoration projects in Slovakia and major achievements of the past decade.
Eugen Bárkány (1885–1967) was a civil engineer and successful entrepreneur during the interwar period – and passionate collector in Eastern Slovakia. In 1928, he became a director of the Slovakia´s first Jewish museum in Prešov, which was a private initiative of the Jewish museum association, which Bárkány chaired. The museum assembled a remarkable collection, which survived the war and from 1952–1993 was stored at the State Jewish Museum in Prague, before it was returned to the Jewish Community of Prešov.
Bárkány hid in Budapest in 1942–1945 and returned to Prešov in 1945, where he was subsequently persecuted by the Communist regime, which expelled him from his city. In 1955, Bárkány settled down in Bratislava, where he lived in humble conditions. He continued his survey of Jewish heritage and travelled extensively around Slovakia. In Bratislava, Bárkány assembled another Judaica collection in the Neolog synagogue, and in 1966 a new Jewish museum was planned. This project was not fulfilled, the synagogue was demolished in 1969 and the collection deposited at the Slovak National Museum, from where it returned only in 2002. In 2012, the Jewish Community Museum was established in Bratislava´s only synagogue, which remains in use as an Orthodox house of worship. Since 2016, the Eugen Bárkány Prize has been awarded annually for achievements in Jewish heritage preservation by the Federation of Jewish Communities in Slovakia.
The Jewish Community Museum in Bratislava dedicated in 2018 and 2019 two exhibition projects to Eugen Bárkány and Slovakia´s first Jewish museum in Prešov. The precious collection has remained in the research and exhibition focus of the Museum.
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A native of Bratislava, Dr. Maroš Borský studied art history and Jewish studies in Bratislava, Regensburg, London, Jerusalem, and Heidelberg. From 2001 to 2006, Dr. Borský was the curator at the Slovak National Museum-Museum of Jewish Culture, where he founded and oversaw Synagoga Slovaca, the documentation project of synagogue architecture in Slovakia. Dr. Borský is the director of the Jewish Community Museum and Jewish Cultural Institute in Bratislava.
The sixth Jewish cultural heritage conference in Slovakia was supposed to take place in the former Neolog synagogue in Trnava, now used as an art gallery. Instead, it will be an online webinar, with presentations and the announcement of the annual Eugen Bárkány prize for 2020.