Once you’ve seen what’s possibly the World’s most interesting museum of ethnography, the marvellous Pitt Rivers in Oxford, other ethnographic collections may seem rather dull by comparison; but the Budapest Néprajzi Múzeum (Museum of Ethnography) seems to have gone out of it’s way to disappoint.
The terribly polite DK Guide suggests that the Budapest collection is overshadowed by the building in which it’s housed, which is certainly true. Half of one floor is devoted to the permanent exhibition, a collection of artefacts from the last 200 or so years (excepting the period of communist rule).
Particularly concerning is the scant representation of the Roma in Hungary’s national ethnographic collection and as far as I could see absolutely no representation of Hungary’s Jewish population. About one-third of the Jews murdered at Auschwitz came from the enthusiastically collaborating wartime Hungary.
If you would like to take photos inside the museum you’ll be expected to pay a surcharge and then the officious and clearly bored staff inside will invent arbitrary rules such as; no flash; no use of mini tripod; and so on.
A dull museum, whose collection is scandalously incomplete given Hungary’s sometimes unfortunate history.