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Museum of mining receives generous grant

A LARGE grant of several million crowns has come to Banská Štiavnica.

A LARGE grant of several million crowns has come to Banská Štiavnica.

The local Slovak Museum of Mining (SBM) received Sk16.2 million, it announced on March 7, the largest foreign grant allocated for the protection of museum artifacts in the history of Slovak museums, the SITA newswire wrote.

"The entire project is supported by the European Business Area and the Norwegian Financial Mechanism. Slovakia's contribution from the state budget is 15 percent," said Michal Pálka, the project's manager.

It was an enormous competition, with numerous applicants. The total amount requested by all interested parties was 18 times the available resources.

"I am happy that Banská Štiavnica got this grant, as the town is on the world cultural heritage list of UNESCO," said Brit Lovseth, Norwegian ambassador to Slovakia.

"The whole project is focused on the SBM collections, which are of European importance. Nine million crowns are allocated for the renovation and preservation of its collections," Pálka said.

Within four years, the museum plans to renovate 36 stone items, nine paintings and a rare late-Gothic sculpture of St. Barbara dating from 1506.

The oldest restored stone item will be the baptistery from the 13th century. Part of the project is also building and furnishing a renovated workplace for paper and old prints, which will be open to the public in May.

The museum will use more than Sk4.5 million to adapt the deposits and expositions and to buy technological equipment to prevent further damage and degradation of rare pieces. Towards the end of the project in 2011, a professional workshop will take place during which the public can learn about the process of renovation by means of a documentary film.

Currently, an applicant must provide at least five percent of the financing for such international projects. The contribution of the SBM, however, is none. "It is really unique, we got the full amount and we do not have to contribute at all," Pálka stated.

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