European Regional Development Fund
Thanks to EU funds, Opole at last has a bona fide museum with enough exhibition space, and the citizens can see how their ancestors lived and how Germans and Poles once co-existed.
The money obtained from the European Regional Development Fund, province government's budget and the Minister of Culture and National Heritage (totalling nearly PLN 30 million) allowed for modernizing and converting the interiors of a historic tenement, renovating the administrative and exhibition building as well as for constructing a new pavilion with a viewing terrace on its roof (where a summer cafe is to be opened). The refurbishment work was the last chance of preserving the historic townhouses. They were also provided with a burglar and fire alarm system, disabled access and emergency exits. After completing the project, the Museum of the Opole Silesia extended its exhibition space by 270 percent without having to change its location.
‘The tenement house, where we recreated four bourgeois flats from various periods, has become a great tourist attraction. On the first floor you can see how the citizens of Opole lived in the late 19th century. As you go up, you move back in time,' says Urszula Zajączkowska, head of the museum. ‘On the top floor we are currently furnishing a fifth flat representing the postwar period. Interestingly, the household items in all the flats were donated by our citizens.'
The museum has become a showpiece for the city and the entire region. Now it plays host to more events and workshops including the "Museum Evenings" and "Nights with Treasures". Children and teenagers enjoy an interactive temporary exhibition called "Old and Not-So-Old Sciences". ‘We also hold regular meetings and lectures such as "Crafts and Applied Arts", "The Silesian Academy", "Does the Cowl Make the Monk?" (devoted to the history of costumes) or "Philosophical Meetings". This year, in co-operation with the Suterena club, we have invited the Krakowski Salon Poezji with the actress Anna Dymna,' adds Urszula Zajączkowska.
Since the completion of the project, the number of visitors has already increased significantly. The project has also revived the area around the museum as new businesses are now mushrooming in its vicinity.