Night of Museums and Galleries seems to flourish

THERE ARE a host of events every year in which cultural institutions around the country organise special programmes for the public. Since 2005, one such event, the Europe-wide Night of Museums and Galleries, has occurred every year around May 18, in honour of International Museum Day. Many Slovak cities and towns have been participating in the event since 2008, typically allowing visitors to see things that are not normally viewable by the public, and to experience museums in totally different ways.

A night in a gallery.A night in a gallery. (Source: Sme- Stanislava Smadišová)

THERE ARE a host of events every year in which cultural institutions around the country organise special programmes for the public. Since 2005, one such event, the Europe-wide Night of Museums and Galleries, has occurred every year around May 18, in honour of International Museum Day. Many Slovak cities and towns have been participating in the event since 2008, typically allowing visitors to see things that are not normally viewable by the public, and to experience museums in totally different ways.

Many institutions offer discounted admission, or admission to multiple museums for the price of one ticket. Special lectures by curators and experts are typically organised for the event, and some museums offer the chance to see rooms or objects which are usually closed to the general public. Other museums take visitors on night-time tours through darkened rooms or storage areas, where items are lit differently or can be viewed only with flashlights.

The Slovak National Gallery in Bratislava plans to open the new Ex Libris bookshop on its premises, as well as the Summer Pavilion, with its freshly planted garden (accompanied by a brief gardening workshop). There will be, among other things, guided tours around the gallery (in Slovak only), and a demonstration of the restoration work being done on the 16th century altar piece by the Master of Okoličné. At 22:00, a night party with Karaoke Tundra in the Berlinka cafe may also attract foreigners.

Smaller local museums and galleries throughout the country will open their doors and prepare special programmes for the public as well. The Museum of Trade in the capital will offer a concert, the "Italian Bluesrock Show". Also in Bratislava, museums of ethnic minorities will participate, and the Museum of Transport, Museum of Tolls and the Bratislava City Museum will also feature special programmes. Museums located in castles, like Červený Kameň, Bojnice, Ľubovňa and Trenčín, among others, plus the Mining Museum in Banská Štiavnica, are also popular attractions.

By the time The Slovak Spectator went to print, the special www.nocmuzei.sk website had not been updated, but it is advisable to check it shortly before the event.

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