Theme Week Brussels – House of European History

Wednesday, 31 December 2014 - 01:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, EU blog post series, Museums, Exhibitions
Reading Time:  7 minutes

Eastman Building in 2012 © Agapolulu/cc-by-sa-3.0

Eastman Building in 2012 © Agapolulu/cc-by-sa-3.0

The House of European History is an initiative of the European Parliament. As a cultural institution and exhibition centre, the House of European History plans to marshal all available means to promote a better understanding of European history and European integration, through a permanent exhibition and temporary and travelling exhibitions, a collection of objects and documents representative of European history, educational programs, cultural events and publications, as well as a wide range of online content. It will be located in Brussels, close to the European institutions. The opening is scheduled for autumn 2015. The House of European History will give visitors the opportunity to learn about European historical processes and events, and engage in critical reflection about the implication of the processes on the present day. It will be a centre for exhibitions, documentation and information which will place processes and events within a wider historical and critical context, bringing together and juxtaposing the contrasting historical experiences of European people. With a surface area of approximately 4 000 m2 at its disposal, the permanent exhibition will be the centrepiece of the House of European History. Using objects and documents and an extensive range of media, it will provide a journey through the history of Europe, principally that of the 20th century, with retrospectives on developments and events in earlier periods which were of particular significance for the whole continent. In this context, the history of European integration will be exhibited in all its uniqueness and with all its complexity.

The House will be visitor-centred, wheelchair- and pushchair-friendly and open to all, in compliance with the European Parliament’s policies relating to accessibility. To that end its main offers will be presented in at least 24 languages, corresponding to the official languages of the European Union at the time of opening. Given that multilingualism is an expression of the cultural diversity of Europe, the House of European History wants its visitors to experience its multilingual exhibits and services as one of the institution’s main assets. In December 2012, in the context of the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to the European Union, it was decided that the Nobel medal and diploma will form part of the permanent exhibition of the House of European History, as the first objects in its collection.

Leopold Park © Agapolulu/cc-by-sa-3.0 © Arnaud Dechelle - Studio Diem UK Atelier d'architecture Chaix & Morel et associés © Eddie Young / AACMA-JSWD Atelier d'architecture Chaix & Morel et associés © Eddie Young / AACMA-JSWD Eastman Building in 2011 © Finavon/cc-by-sa-3.0 Eastman Building in 2012 © Agapolulu/cc-by-sa-3.0
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Atelier d'architecture Chaix & Morel et associés © Eddie Young / AACMA-JSWD
The idea of creating a House of European History was launched on 13 February 2007 by President Hans-Gert Pöttering in his inaugural speech as President of the European Parliament. One of the key objectives of the project was to be “to enable Europeans of all generations to learn more about their own history and, by so doing, to contribute to a better understanding of the development of Europe, now and in the future.” In October 2008, a committee of experts led by Professor Hans Walter Hütter, the Head of the House of the History of the Federal Republic of Germany, submitted a report entitled “Conceptual Basis for a House of European Histor” which established the general concept and content of the project and outlined its institutional structure.

The Eastman building, originally designed to house a dental clinic, was named after George Eastman, the American philanthropist and inventor of the Kodak camera. His generous donations allowed the creation of dental centres in New York, London, Rome, Paris, Brussels and Stockholm, dedicated to providing free dental care for disadvantaged children. In 1933, the Eastman Foundation approached the Swiss architect Michel Polak, known for his Art Deco style and particularly the famous Résidence Palace in Brussels, to design the new building. Inaugurated in 1935, the building is interesting both in terms of its engineering and its Art Deco elements. In the former children’s waiting room there is a series of murals by the painter Camille Barthélémy illustrating La Fontaine’s fables. The Leopold Park, containing a number of historic buildings such as the Pasteur Institute and the Solvay Library, was listed in 1976. The Eastman Building itself is not listed. The dental clinic closed its doors before the building was converted into offices for the European institutions in the 1980s.

Here you can find the complete Overview of all Theme Weeks.

Read more on House of European History and Wikipedia House of European History (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.


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