We have become accustomed to it, and more and more of us are eagerly waiting every year for the event entitled Museum Night, organized on the 18th of May or on the Saturday closest to this date. It gives us the opportunity to visit museums for free, but also to attend all kinds of activities, which are much more unique, more attractive and more interactive than usual! Museum Night is sponsored by the European Council, UNESCO and the International Council of Museums.
The first night of the museums was, in fact … one day
The event was held in 1997 in Berlin, Germany. Tourists were delighted by the idea of free access, so more and more institutions rallied to the initiative and began to organize this cultural event. Then this cultural phenomenon also extended to France, with a very poetic name “Spring of museums” (Printemps des musées). The French Ministry of Culture has decided that the event will take place in spring, on a Sunday. In 2001 the event was organized in all the countries that signed the cultural convention of the European Council, being placed under the high patronage of the Council’s Secretary General .
In 2005 the Museum Day becomes Museum Night: the event is moved during the night and it changes the target audience, addressing especially young people, families. The new event has spread throughout Europe and on the 18th of May it was declared by the International Council of Museums the International Museum Day.
Training demonstrations, wrestling and all kinds of workshops
This year the Museum of the Dacian and Roman Civilization in Deva, under the patronage of the Hunedoara Council, organized on the 18th of May 2019, on a Saturday, “Museum Night” in Deva (Magna Curia Palace), in Orăștie (Museum of Ethnography and Folk Art) and at Brad (Museum of Local History and Ethnography).
The event offered a historical journey in “reverse-mode” through the times when the Magna Curia castle represented a visible element, from the inter-war period, the period of the establishment of the “Deva District Museum”, until the late medieval times, when Magna Curia was erected. Images on the gramophone – Street Theater, performed by the Art Theater in Deva and the “Tudor Vianu” Theater in Giurgiu, a presentation of medieval weapons, presented by the Dragon Company, from Cluj-Napoca, but also Ignis et ferrum – which included training demonstrations, full-contact armor battles, archery, and a mid-century artillery presentation were just a few of the doings. The Deva residents were able to find out something about the world of medieval hunters from the members of the “St. Hubert” Hunting Society in Cluj-Napoca, but they were happy to find out the story of Magna Curia Castle through video-mapping projections on the building. Those who had the chance, could participate in an interactive medieval dance workshop, but also in ceramics, textile art, wooden notches, belts, etc. The visits at the exhibitions of the Museum of Dacian and Roman Civilization were free of charge.
From wood civilization, to xylography
At the “Musem Night” event, at the Ethnography and Folk Art Department, the Wood Civilization exhibition in Orastie – “Brotherhood between the forest and the Romanian” was opened, where there was presented in a natural setting specific to the area, the level structure of the vegetation, the main types of wood essences, archaeological discoveries and the relationship between man and wood.
Along with the exhibition of the elements of Romanian architecture made in wood (houses, outbuildings, sheepfolds), there were presented new creations of some folk craftsmen (Constantin Perţa şi IlieTodescu) that were made from a single piece of wood. Moreover, at the event “Museum Night”, held at Orastie, the students from the Folk Art School at the Pedagogical College “Regina Maria” Deva, coordinated by Professor Mircea Lac, recognized as a “human treasure”, presented traditional objects and handmade woodwork, as well as an interactive woodcut demonstration presented by the curator – restorer Andrei Buda, from the “Lucian Blaga” University of Sibiu.
The evening ended with some folk dances performed by the folklore ensemble “Germisara” Geoagiu.
Brad: The last craftsman whistleblower
At the Museum of Local History and Ethnography Brad was shown the exhibition “Icon on glass – craft, art and grace”. And, because the icons in the houses of the Romanian peasants were always accompanied by the folk towels with decorative role woven in loom as they were “wrapping” the icon and “dressing up” the house, the visitors were invited to the exhibition “Stergarul Zarandean” (“The Zarand folk towel”), as well as to the exhibition of the last whistleblower craftsman from Zarand, named Mateș Petru, from the village of Dumbrava de Sus, Ribița parish, which included objects made of wood: single whistles, double whistles and crucifixes. In the courtyard of the museum, visitors were expected with the photo exhibition “The village of Hunedoara in images” by the artist Nicu Jianu. A sit-down and a meeting with local poets from the area who recited from their own literary works, ended the evening in Brad.
Hunedoara: a great show of light to tell the story of the Castle
In Hunedoara, after last year’s event brought thousands of people to the Huniad Castle, the decision was to invite Paula Seling who performed live at the castle. By midnight the locals and all the tourists admired the huge video-mapping and fireworks show, while the scouts prepared a light festival that lit the courtyard of Transylvania’s main tourist attraction with thousands of paper lanterns. The facade of the largest medieval castle in south-eastern Europe has been transformed into a huge cinema screen on which it was reconstructed, through video-mapping, the story of Hunedoara. The event in Hunedoara was by far the most spectacular of all due to the impressive architecture of the Huniad Castle dressed in lights that tell its story, attracting the largest number of visitors each year, locals even, tourists coming from the neighboring counties, but also from throughout the entire nation.