Memento Park, Budapest

A sculpture park full of the public statues from Budapest during the Communist era. The Hungarians, after the fall of the communist state in 1989 had a long and protracted debate about what to with that state’s public art. I think its important that they’ve chosen to preserve it, and also to do so in the context of this museum. If you visit this park yourself, buy the guide book, “In the shadow of Stalin’s boots”. As it says in the guide book, the Memento Park is not about Communism, but the fall of Communism.

Its purpose is not irony, but remembrance and a cynical and amusing language is used throughout the guide book, but I like the paths that go nowhere, and the end wall, which says no further, but I had to have it explained.

Memento Park

Before the Hungarian popular uprising of 1956, there was a massive statue of Stalin in the centre of Budapest. The protestors destroyed it, and it was never repaired, only the boots remained on the plinth. Some would argue that the “Dictatorship of the Proletariat” was never repaired either. It was a huge statue with a huge plinth, and it now is relocated at the museum, hence the title of the guide book.

I read the history section of the “Rough Guide to Budapest” later in the day to try and put the museum and its history in perspective and compare the Museum with the way in which Berlin treats this period of history. I got the message in Berlin that this is the result of democrats losing in politics, I obviously need to visit some of the other Budapest Museums to get the full story of Hungary’s coming to terms with its history.

Its great they have preserved these statues for us all.

ooOOOoo

I have posted some of my pictures into a set called Memento Park at flickr, and when writing a blog on the EU referendum in May 2016, I added it as a slide show here/below.


Created with flickr slideshow.

1 Comments.

  1. I wrote this on my return, and occasionally my mind returned to my visit to the park and the taxi journey to the airport. The taxi driver brought his daughter who spoke perfect English and they shared their experiences of the previous 20 years. The visit and the conversation on the journey home have lingered and together with the guide book helped me understand Hungary’s journey whch looks troubled today. Thank you for preserving the park and thanks to the taxi driver and his daughter.