‘We are united in culture,’ deputy minister for regional development Csaba Latorcai declared on Wednesday in Debrecen, at the opening of the life’s work exhibition of the legendary painter from the Transylvanian town of Nagybánya (Baia Mare), Ágoston Véső.
Latorcai stated that the 92-year-old Munkácsy Prize-winning painter, while building upon the legacy of his Nagybánya predecessors, also reflects on the historical tragedies of the 20th century in his art.
‘Though our nation’s daily life might seem fragmented now, let’s declare: we are united in culture,’ Latorcai emphasised. He added that he is working to ensure that the coming centuries ‘speak of us,’ that people remain active participants and shapers of the future of the Carpathian Basin and the entire continent.
On the occasion of the opening of the Partium House in Debrecen, where the exhibition is held, Latorcai praised Ágoston Véső’s painting, noting that with his brush, the artist depicts classical, traditional European values based on Greek philosophy and Christian religion.
‘He is a responsible cultural figure, something we need so much,’ he underscored. He added that in today’s times, it is especially
crucial to preserve traditions, sobriety, faith, and the ability to think in historical perspectives,
even when ‘this is less or unfortunately not typical of today’s Europe and most of its leaders.’ According to Latorcai, ‘we need a future that regards the European Union as a cultural community.’ Just as Ágoston Véső is part of a cultural community with his predecessors from the Nagybánya artist colony, ‘we Hungarians are also part of a cultural community here in the heart of Europe,’ he added. As such, Hungary’s government is dedicating more resources to culture, including rescuing artwork, than the European countries’ average. Hungary in fact spends 1.3 per cent of its GDP on culture, while in the EU, the average is 0.5 per cent,’ the deputy minister reminded.
Mayor of Debrecen László Papp highlighted that having the oeuvre of the most significant creators of Carpathian Basin painting, a bearer of the legacy of the Nagybánya artist colony, in the city, is the merit of the Partium House belonging to the Hungarian Houses Network. Working in collaboration with the local government, it consistently focuses on the integration of the historical and cultural values of the Partium and Transylvania into all-Hungarian culture, strengthening national cohesion and Hungarian identity.
CEO of the Hungarian Houses Network Pál Csaba Szabó pointed out that within their network, five cultural centres operate in Hungary’s border regions. The newly relocated Partium House in Debrecen has organised over a hundred separate cultural events in the past three years, and the Partium Friendship Society has around 1500 members. The exhibition titled Seven Decades, Seventy Pictures commemorates Ágoston Véső’s 92nd birthday and the 70th anniversary of his first exhibition. It can be visited at the Partium House in Debrecen until 30 September.