03.12.2013 - UNESCO Venice Office

The National History Museum of Romania is the third host of the travelling exhibit ‘Imagining the Balkans’

©Imagining the Balkans - Catalogue cover

The travelling exhibit ‘Imagining the Balkans. Identities and Memory in the long 19th century’, coordinated by the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, Venice (Italy) with the support and participation of the International Council of Museums (ICOM), was inaugurated at the National History Museum of Romania (MNIR), Bucharest on 28 November 2013, at 5pm., in the presence of Daniel-Constantin Barbu, Minister of Culture of Romania; Ernest Oberländer-Târnoveanu, MNIR General Director; and, Yolanda Valle-Neff, Director of the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, Venice (Italy).

The exhibit ‘Imagining the Balkans’ was opened in Ljubljana at the National Museum of Slovenia, on 8 April 2013, on the occasion of the annual meeting of the Council of Ministers of Culture of South-East Europe. Part of UNESCO’s global initiative ‘Culture: a Bridge to Development’, the exhibit seeks to enhance cooperation and dialogue among national history museums and focuses on the constitution and evolution of modern nations in South-East Europe during the “long 19th century”.

National history museums from South East Europe and beyond - Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Germany, Greece, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia and The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia - come together to put in perspective and compare their collections and their national histories. The historical advisor of the exhibit is Maria Todorova, professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, United States of America.

After Ljubljana, the exhibition started its planned journey to the Historical Museum of Serbia in Belgrade - where it was exhibited until last 6 November. The National History Museum of Romania is now hosting the exhibit ‘Imagining the Balkans’ in Bucharest; the installation is curated by Mr. Cornel Ilie.

During the inauguration ceremony, Yolanda Valle-Neff, Director of the UNESCO Venice Office, paid tribute to all the museums, curators and experts closely involved in this project during the last 4 years, as well as to ICOM and the International Committee for Exhibitions and Exchange (ICOM/ICEE).

This exhibit is important because it shows in an unprecedented way that history museums in the region are again becoming reflective places of dialogue and understanding. For the very first time, national museums in the region have decided, with the active support of UNESCO, to approach the history of their countries in a multi-perspective manner, in a way that is attentive to cultural diversity and the complexities of national narratives”, she said in her address.

Yolanda Valle-Neff restated UNESCO’s full support to this regional initiative and expressed the hope that this traveling exhibit will benefit and inspire the whole region.

The exhibit “Imagining the Balkans. Identities and Memory in the long 19th century” will be on display at the National History Museum of Romania until 27 April 2014 and travel to other countries from South-East Europe in 2014-2015.  

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Venue of exhibit:

National History Museum of Romania
Calea Victoriei, nr.12, sect. 3
030026 Bucharest

website: http://www.mnir.ro

opening hours: 9am.-5pm.




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