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Norway helps reveal Košice's torturous past

THE AMBASSADOR of the Kingdom of Norway in Slovakia, Brit Lovseth, visited historical reconstruction projects at the East Slovak Museum in Košice that are being primarily supported by funds from her country. Reconstruction of the Mikluš Prison and its adjacent executioner’s bastion and flat are receiving €427,000 in assistance from Norway, the SITA newswire reported.At a briefing, the ambassador assessed the progress of the reconstruction and said that the resources seem to have been used sensibly.

THE AMBASSADOR of the Kingdom of Norway in Slovakia, Brit Lovseth, visited historical reconstruction projects at the East Slovak Museum in Košice that are being primarily supported by funds from her country. Reconstruction of the Mikluš Prison and its adjacent executioner’s bastion and flat are receiving €427,000 in assistance from Norway, the SITA newswire reported.
At a briefing, the ambassador assessed the progress of the reconstruction and said that the resources seem to have been used sensibly.

The chairman of the Košice Self-Governing Region, Zdenko Trebuľa, and staff of the East Slovak Museum accompanied the ambassador during her tour of the reconstruction work.

The total cost of the work will be about €650,000 and Trebuľa said that the project had been boosted by €220,000 which Košice Region had allotted from its budget. After a thorough examination and study, construction work began last year to salvage those rooms which were in the poorest condition. The work should be finished in October 2009.A roofed back porch as well as a barrier-free entrance to the prison of the executioner’s flat will emerge as part of the reconstruction.

The museum will have more exhibition space and will be able to expand its display of medieval collections. Construction work between the executioner’s flat and the Rodošto (Rákoczi's House), another tourist attraction in the city, has also begun. The area will be made into a multi-functional complex with a stage where cultural events can be organised.

An exposition of stone findings and artefacts saved during archaeological explorations will be placed in a partially roofed yard. During the work, a shoemaker’s workshop dating back to the 15th century was unexpectedly revealed as workers were digging an elevator shaft. Remnants of leather and shoes and unique wooden artefacts helped to determine the age of the workshop.

“Shoes with narrow and pointy soles are typical for the Gothic period,” an archaeologist from the East Slovak Museum, Dárius Gašaj, told the SITA newswire. In addition to belts, straps and shoes, pottery shards and a well-preserved wooden spoon were found. Wooden findings from medieval times are rare, Gašaj said.

The executioner’s flat, prison and torture chamber are a part of the museum’s famous Mikluš Prison. Almost 20,000 people visit the museum every year. After the reconstruction work, new exhibitions with previously undisplayed artefacts and information about the executioners of Košice will go on show.

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