IN THE SEVENTH year of a Europe-wide event, the doors of museums and galleries in Slovakia will stay open late into the night on Saturday, May 14. Institutions in 49 Slovak cities, towns and villages are taking part in the Night of Museums and Galleries, as the event is known. In some venues, the ‘night’ starts early, with programmes for children in the morning. On May 14 visitors can pay just once and then visit as many participating museums as they wish. Moreover, most of the institutions have prepared special programmes, often lasting until midnight.
In the capital, Bratislava Castle dedicated this year’s Night to the 200th anniversary of a huge fire which destroyed most of the structure and the settlement beneath it in 1811: at 15:00 and 18:00 fire fighters from Bratislava will simulate the Great Fire and present fire-extinguishing technologies. At 11:00 and 20:00, lectures tour will inform members of the public about the most recent research and findings at the castle. At 10:00 and 13:00, there will be tours for families with children.
Other local institutions participating in the event include the Slovak National Gallery, which will offer a host of programmes: puppet theatre at 11:00; a theatre performance for children at 15:00; creative workshops from 14:00; lecture tours in the afternoon (in Slovak only); concerts of historical and contemporary music at 15:30 and 18:00 respectively; a concert by Slovak group Longital at 19:30; a carnival of loud unspoken words at 21:30; and a screening of ‘prohibited’ and ‘harmful’ films. The event will culminate at 22:00 when visitors will be able to visit the hidden niches of the SNG with the general manager, taking a magic tour of the gallery with torches (places must be booked in advance). A host of other museums and galleries have taken up this idea, one of the newcomers being the ÚĽUV Gallery of folk art.
Among the venues in other towns and castles, Modrý Kameň castle is offering an interactive “Dragon” tour for children, with the Tracking a Dragon exhibition, scenes from the ‘everyday life’ of dragons, a puppet performance, animated cartoon and lecture. At Spiš Castle, the Revived Legends tours will take place until midnight. The Slovak National Museum in Martin will be visited by the King himself, who will give visitors, especially younger ones, a chance to become a squire for one night: after they prove their skills and knowledge, he will appoint them members of the lesser gentry (‘zeman’). For information about other venues, visit www.muzeum.sk, www. snm.sk and www.sng.sk.
9. May 2011 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff