In his opening speech, Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén said that man is at once heir to nature and a builder of culture, adding that hunting encompasses man’s natural and cultural aspects at the same time. He called Hungarian hunting culture unparalleled, with Asian roots and developed in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, together with the heritage of Austrian, Czech and Bavarian traditions.
Minister of Agriculture István Nagy stressed that the exhibition will showcase unprecedented materials that indicate that “hunting is not against nature but serves to maintain balance and harmony, following the laws of nature.” These materials come from the collections of the Museum of Hungarian Agriculture, the Institute and Museum of Military History, the Hungarian National Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Hungarian National Gallery.
Material from the collections of private individuals and organizations has also been borrowed, and a 3D digital version of the exhibition will be made available online as well.
The exhibition promotes sustainable hunting by presenting rarely seen objects and works of art, illustrating the complex relationship between man and animal. Traditional methods of hunting in Hungary – such as falconry, coursing, archery and muzzleloader hunting – will also be exhibited.
Among the weapons on display will be Count István Széchenyi’s muzzleloader; Rudolf, Crown Prince of Austria’s Kirner gun; and Archduke Joseph August of Austria’s Mauser repeater. Spear and arrowheads, crossbows from the 15th century, and powder flasks and falconry bags made in the 17th to 19th centuries will also be presented. The “Arts and Hunting” fine arts collection will highlight the various chapters in the history of European hunting and fishing as well.