News digest: Slovak National Gallery re-opens after seven-year refurbishment

What are the most popular names of newborns, the reopening of historical currant wine cellars, state aid for companies and households facing high energy bills

(Source: / Hej,ty)

Good evening. Here is the Friday, December 2 edition of Today in Slovakia – the main news of the day in less than five minutes.

For weekend events and news on travel and culture in Slovakia, see the latest edition of our Spectacular Slovakia newsletter.

Refurbished national gallery to open to the public on December 11

The Slovak National Gallery (SNG) is ready to open more than 20 years after closing a significant part of its exhibition premises in Bratislava, due to its derelict condition, and almost seven years since the launch of construction works. The general public will be able to see the refurbished as well as brand new premises of SNG next Sunday, December 11.

“During the opening day, visitors will be able to enjoy the all-day programme, two inaugural exhibitions, a special project of works in architecture and, of course, breathe in the unique novelty we have all been waiting for,” said Alexandra Kusá, SNG’s general director.

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The Prologue. 12 Colours of Reality exhibition will guide visitors through the new premises.

The second inaugural exhibition will be Take p(art)! Within, where the SNG will try to answer curious inquiries and open a dialogue about art’s basic principles, both in the past and present.

On December 11, the admission will be free. Afterwards it will be €2. The SNG will be open until December 21 this year.

Next year, due to the size and the need to ensure smooth operation, the gallery will operate on the basis of regulated entries of individual tours of the building and exhibitions, to which visitors will be able to register, noted Klára Hudáková, SNG spokesperson.

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Today's feature story

Historical currant wine cellars in Devín re-opening after 26 years

Currant wine is an inseparable part of Devín, a borough of Bratislava. However, the historical cellars of Alois Sonntag, in which this fruit wine grew to be a local phenomenon, were inaccessible for more than two decades. The unexpected offer of buying these cellars along with the adjacent house was extremely tempting for Augustín Mrázik, the main initiator of the restoration of the currant wine tradition in Devín.

However, the bad condition of the neglected premises made the decision-making process difficult for him. In the end, given the history associated with this place, he bought it for an undisclosed price. He plans to resume the production of currant wine, use the historic cellars for wine tastings and create a small museum of Devín.

“It’s unbelievable, but exactly one hundred years after the creation of the tradition of Devín’s currant wine, the circle closes and currant wine returns to ‘its’ cellars,” Mrázik told The Slovak Spectator.

Historical currant wine cellars in Devín re-opening after 26 years Read more 

More stories on

  • HISTORY: While the work of restorers remains behind closed doors, have a look at how they saved an English racket, American ball, and Adidas gloves.
  • SCIENCE: This year's Eset Science Award for Outstanding Scientist in Slovakia Under the Age of 35 went to Miroslav Almáši, who works at the Faculty of Science of Pavol Jozef Šafárik University in Košice. He deals with the use and application of porous materials in energy storage, biomedicine and environmental issues.
  • BRAIN: Read what is happening in the brain of a teenager.

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Anniversary of the week

On December 5, 1989, barbed-wire barriers and roadblocks, a symbol of the Iron Curtain, were removed from the state border of the Czechoslovak Republic with Austria.

Other news

  • The average nominal salary in Slovakia grew by 9.4 percent year-on-year to €1,296 per month in the third quarter of 2022, the Statistics Office reported on Friday. This relatively rapid growth wasn't enough to overcome the inflation rate, however, and the average salary fell by 4 percent year-on-year in real terms.
  • The Economy Ministry has announced €360 million call to refund energy costs to companies. The state will refund to applicants 80 percent of the sum they paid for gas and electricity above the set ceiling in August and September, i.e. for months when energy prices were the highest. The government set the ceiling for the gas price at €99 per megawatthour (MWh), while it is €199 per MWh in the case of electricity. The lowest sum to be refunded by the ministry is €50 and the highest €500,000. The call applies to all business sectors except for credit and financial institutions. Entrepreneurs have until December 22 to apply for the money.
  • Household energy bills should increase only by a small extent from next year. This follows from the aid package approved by the cabinet. The price of electricity for households will be frozen from January onwards at this year’s level, with gas and heat becoming more expensive by no more than 15 percent. The aid for households will cost the state €6 billion or €3,000 per household. PM Eduard Heger claims that this money is included in the state budget, which is due to be voted on by parliament next week.
  • On Monday, December 5, the municipal forestry company Mestské Lesy v Bratislave (MLB) will hold another mass hunt of wild boars in the city’s forests. The hunting will take place in the Kamzík area above the Kramáre district in Bratislava, between 7:30 and 13:00. As a result, Cisárska Road, Americké Square with the outlook tower, and the area below the TV tower and the surrounding area will be closed for the duration of the hunt.
  • The municipal waste-management organisation Odvoz a Likvidácia Odpadu (OLO) is switching the collection of kitchen biowaste in Bratislava to winter mode, i.e. one time per week, from December 5.
  • Slovak households will pay almost a fifth (€82) more for Christmas than last year. A survey conducted by the Focus pollster has shown that on average, they should count on €535 euros for Christmas, i.e. groceries and presents.
  • The most popular names for newborns in 2022 are Sofia and Jakub (James) in Slovakia, based on statistics of the Interior Ministry. The other most popular names are Eliška and Nina for girls and Samuel and Adam for boys.

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