Móric Benyovszky was born 275 years ago – exhibition

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2016/09/27 - 2017/01/28


A person with one of the most adventurous lives in the history of Hungary, one of the most famous Hungarian world travelers, sailor and soldier, the first European ruler of the Indian Ocean archipelago was born on September 20, 1741.  During the centuries, there were uncertainties concerning his date of birth and activities, but academic research has tried to correct the numerous inaccuracies born from legends.

Móricz Benyovszky (1741–1786) died rather early, at the age of 45. His oeuvre, well-known across Europe, honored, and occasionally debated, but admired by many people, is considered to be a notable part of 18th-century history. Slovaks consider Benyovszky to be their own, and Poles regard him as a national hero. He was a registered contractor of the French court. In Russia, his onetime manifesto and chess solutions have been preserved. Móricz Benyovszky, “man of the world’ as we would call him today, was Hungarian. Based on academic research and on Benyovszky’s own records, we can say it without a doubt. To cherish his memory, a society was formed in Hungary in 2003, and 2016 marks the 275th anniversary of the birth and the 230th anniversary of the death of Móric Benyovszky. In Hungary, a memorial committee was set up with the participation of national cultural institutions, scholars and memorial caretakers.

A private international conference to be held in Budapest on September 26, 2016 and an exhibition on Benyovszky, as well as a Benyovszky Gala Night were organized on the initiation of the Benyovszky Society. Participants include scholars, researchers, public figures, artists and memorial caretakers both from Hungary and from beyond the borders: from Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, France, the United States and Madagascar. The conference summarizes lessons to be learnt from Móric Benyovszky’s life; with his experience and knowledge gained on four continents, Benyovszky has been standing well above those who evaluate him.

Chief Patron of the memorial committee, taking care of Móric Benyovszky’s memory, is Géza Szőcs, Patron is Péter Hoppál, and Co-Chair is György G. Németh.

Further information: Benyovszky Memorial Committee, Co-Chair György G. Németh, www.benyovszky.hu; e-mail:gngy@gngy.eu

The exhibition will be open between September 27 and January 28, 2017 in the catalog space on Floor 7, during the opening hours of the Library. Visitors who do not own a Reader Pass to NSZL can attend our temporary exhibitions for a flat fee of HUF 400. When planning your visit, please, remember that our ticket office is closed at 7 p.m.

Our blog entry on Móricz Benyovszky can be read (in Hungarian) here.