The Hungarian Money Museum and Visitor Center, established by the Central Bank of Hungary (MNB), opened its gates in the newly renovated Postapalota (‘Postal Palace’) in the spring of 2022. The museum has one of the most unique educational exhibition areas in Europe, exploring the five basic functions of money – storage of value, circulation, payment, world money and treasure – in an entertaining way.
The interactive exhibition on the history of money and the operation and future of money management is equipped with the state-of-the-art museum educational and digital technologies. The 2,400-square-meter exhibition features more than 200 displays and projectors, 54 unique installations, hundreds of square meters of physical graphics and 133 short films to introduce the world of money to all age groups, with a special focus on 12-18-year-olds.
Visitors can learn about the reasons for – and forms of – money, try out what it would be like if there was no money, and see the most precious items in the MNB's coin collection, from the Lancea regis denarius of the country’s first king, St. Stephen, to paper money.
A stock exchange simulator, a world money wall and a machine simulating online shopping give people insight into the world of money and the world financial market. The exhibition also shows what the money of the future could look like, and then, in addition to the treasure-building function, it presents intellectual assets, great Hungarian innovations and achievements as well.
The institution also functions as an experience and education center, as the MNB's tasks include developing financial culture and financial awareness.
Promoting financial culture
Speaking of the objectives the management of the Central Bank of Hungary had in mind when founding the institution, the Managing Director of the Money Museum, Eszter Hergár explains to Diplomacy&Trade that the Central Bank’s mission is to promote financial culture, financial education and financial awareness. “By setting up the museum, the central bank wanted to make financial literacy accessible to children and adults alike. It is important, however, that this is not done in a textbook manner, but in an interactive and experiential way. To help us achieve this, visitors can try out 11 types of playful activities on a total of 118 interactive surfaces in the exhibition halls. The most popular attractions include printing banknotes with your own face, printing on gold bullions, opening a safe, playing the stock exchange and installing a banknote post.”
Of European standard
There are many money museums around the world, from Lisbon to Chicago to Manila. Eszter Hergár points out that “before we started to design the money museum, we visited the world's leading money museums and, of course, we learned about good practices and interesting examples. Today, however, I am happy to say that we are now considered a model institution. This July, for example, a delegation from the Croatian National Bank visited our Money Museum. Their visit was aimed at gaining ideas and experience for their own visitor center of a similar theme. The situation is similar with the Bank of Italy. It is an honor for us to have them visit the Money Museum in Budapest, because it shows that our institution also stands its ground on a European level.”
A unique showcase
The former Postal Palace, which is now the home of the Money Museum, had undergone a complete renovation for several years before the Money Museum was created. As to what this more than 2,400 square meters of floor space comprises, Eszter Hergár highlights that the permanent exhibition ‘The path of money’, which is free to visit after booking, is organized around the five functions of money. “The Money Museum is not just a spectacular display of old coins that showcase the history of money, the experience is much more comprehensive and multi-faceted. Visitors are taken on a carefully constructed journey of discovery around the world of money, accompanied by interactive games and spectacular visual displays. The different tools, platforms and events are all built around a common message. The Money Museum will thus be both a center for public education on finance in the country and a unique showcase for the international museum world.”
One of the objectives at the Money Museum is to promote financial awareness. As the Managing Director puts it, the mission of the Money Museum is to break down taboos about money and the way the economy works. “We have created one of Europe's most innovative central bank experience spaces where visitors can learn about domestic and international economic processes through interactive, 21st century tools and the museum experience. This way, they themselves get involved – this is perhaps the best way to stimulate interest.
The Money Museum is quite popular with one of its target groups: students/young people. Regarding the kind of educational programs offered to reach out to these youngsters, the institution’s museum education sessions are available from pre-school age with the aim to introduce children to the world of money in a playful way. “Our museum education courses, games and educational apps are available for all ages, and our financial awareness programs and national quizzes are aimed at school-age children,” Eszter Horgár adds.
The Money Museum has been welcoming visitors for more than a year and feedback received by the institution has been quite positive. “The best feedback is that many people are curious about us: the museum has registered its 100,000th visitor in the 15th month after opening, and we are constantly full. The opening of the Money Museum's Panorama Terrace, in the second half of July this year, is proof that interest has not waned, with 10,000 visitors in the first month of operation. On our one-year anniversary – or even at the Night of Museums in late June – the line stretched as far as the nearby Széll Kálmán Square, so many people wanted to get into the museum,” she recalls.
The Money Museum has already received professional recognition as well. “Last year, we were named one of the best museums in Hungary, while this year, Best of Budapest & Hungary recognized the institution as one of the best community spaces. In May, the Center for Museum Education and Methodology presented the Money Museum with a Community Museum Award for actively involving local residents and civil communities in its work, and for listening to their opinions when designing its museum education sessions. All this confirms that we are on the right track,” the Managing Director concludes.
No comment yet. Be the first!
Top 5 Articles
Articles by Date
- ►2023 (1129)
- ►2022 (1249)
- ►2021 (941)
- ►2020 (899)
- ►2019 (237)
- ►2018 (161)
- ►2017 (310)
- ►2016 (279)
- ►2015 (324)
- ►2014 (229)
- ►2013 (233)
- ►2012 (250)
- ►2011 (303)
- ►2010 (167)
- ►2009 (43)
- ►2008 (3)