Museum of Socialist Curiosities in Hnusta

Museum of Socialist Curiosities in Hnusta
The main aim of the pilot action project is to establish a permanent exhibition of the people’s everyday life during the socialist era in Hnusta and in the surrounding region. The selection of the Hnusta city for the purposes of this project was very clear, since during the socialist era Hnusta has been one of the most prosperous hard industry city in the region. Nowadays the city is experiencing recession. Still, a lot of old and abandoned socialist buildings can be found there. These buildings, as well as the socialist image of the city may be used for the purposes of this project.

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The city of Hnusta

Memories are the only things that have remained for us from the socialist times. Memories, which are transferred from the older generation to the younger one. What kind of era was it for real? What kind of books did they read? What kind of food did they eat? What were the children playing with? What were they learning about? Who were the pioneers, what did the spartakiada look like, and what did they need „bony“ for? The answers to these questions are very well known to the older generation, but the young one does not know much about this period of our life. This was the reason why the Agency for Development of Gemer Region in Hnusta, through this pilot action project, decided to preserve the past for future generations.

The Agency for Development of Gemer Region is organizing workshops for the citizens of the Hnúšta town and te Gemer-Malohont region. The participants get acquainted with the life of people living more than 23 years ago. The lectures and presentations included such themes like everyday life, culture, media, holidays, socialist symbols, educational system, children, ways of spending free time by the youth and adults in the period of socialism.

The museum is located in the former amphitheatre in Hnúšta. The building was not used and became dilapidated in the past few years and it needed to be renovated. The walls of the rooms on the upper floor, where the museum have been placed, were scraped, cleaned and painted. In spring 2012, a group of volunteers together with professionals renovated the interior of the building. New wiring and new water supply system were made. The museum was officially opened on 24th November 2012

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Museum space under renovation

The museum is housed in 3 rooms. It is designed to present a three bedroom apartment from the socialist times. In the lobby an old-fashioned “corner” with the phone and books is located. The kitchen is furnished not only with furniture, but with old domestic appliances as well – such as fridge, coffee maker, etc. The children’s room is full of toys, children magazines and books from the socialist times. In the living-room TV-set with a functional radio is located. There will also a thematic exposition organized on various topics, such as culture, important people, educational system, etc. The apartment is furnished with the furniture most of which was donated by local volunteers. The museum received approximately 100 various artefacts from the socialist era; the most interesting are the TV-set, historical pictures and toys.
In the future Agency for Development of Gemer Region is planning to conduct lessons about human rights and the history of our region during socialism.

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Examples of museum exhibits

On May 2013, museum was introduced to the schools and special guest, the Nobel price holder dr Ivan Engler, who supports the idea of ReNewTown project abroad. The presentation about the project, as well as the workshop with the children about socialist buildings and how we can change them were organised. On June and August another workshops were organised. Children from 8 schools were painting on old socialist roll-ups pictures related to community, socialism and human rights. These were then used for decoration outside of the building.


On 25th of October the museum was officially opened, all volunteers and people interested in the project were participated, including the mayor of the city of Hnusta.




Implementation of the project on timeline:

May 2011: ''Museum of Socialist Heritage Curiosities', presentation given in Warsaw  (Mnika Vaskovicova) pdf

October 2011: 'Museum of socialist heritage curiosities' - progress in implementation, presentation given in Velenje (Mnika Vaskovicova) pdf

November 2011: Leaflet on preparatory works to pilot action in Hnusta pdf

December 2012: Leaflet on preparatory works to pilot action in Hnusta pdf

May 2013: Leaflet on pilot actions' results