On January 26, 2017, at the Closing Conference of the HraMoKa Project, we officially opened the newly reconstructed Baroque Hall, the premises of which have previously served the technical purposes of the Museum and were not accessible to the public because of their bad technical conditions. However, we have assumed they are hiding interesting and valuable original premises, which have been, over the course of history, rebuilt as prison cells, used as temporary apartments both before and after World War II, as well as warehouses etc., a fact about which we have already informed the readers of Pokrok.
Today, after the completion of the reconstruction, Museum visitors can admire the magnificent arched hall supported by five Renaissance-Baroque pillars made of stone, which are the most beautiful jewels of the historic hall. During the archaeological research conducted concurrently with the restoration, we also discovered some obvious signs of the original use of this part of the castle. These premises were used as a horse stable equipped with a unique system of brick-made sewerage, which presumably drained waste from the stables as well as rainwater from the courtyard to the eastern side of the building.
The archaeological site has also disclosed many other interesting findings including fragments of ceramics, glass, metal objects, wooden slates and, in the courtyard, we have even found the remains of a wood-clay building of unknown purpose with preserved charred cereal grains. These findings can now be seen in the new historical exhibition, where the visitors can also see an authentic orthophotography of the archaeological site, which can be viewed in a detail on a large-screen monitor.
With the purpose of presenting the specific objectives and the long-term sustainability of the project funded from the Bilateral Fund of the EEA and Norway Grants, we have invited to the Closing Conference in Slovakia our project partners from Oslo, Norway - Mrs. Karen Höie, Mr. Gundersen Swein and Ms. Veronica Hilde Höie, managers and lecturers from the Kulturproduktjoner, who have engaged their students from the Akershus University of Oslo, Department of Art, Design and Drama at the Faculty of Applied Sciences in the creative workshop being held since January 18, 2017 in Bratislava by Prof. Ida Hledíková, PhD, Head of the Department of Puppetry at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava as the Slovak partner of the HraMoKa Project.
Together with the Slovak students - future puppet actors, they had to prepare a presentation of modern puppet theatre and present their performance on January 25-26,2017 during the closing event in the SNM - Museum of Puppet Cultures and Toys at the Castle of Modrý Kameň and, as part of the seminar attended by the children and youth from the regional art schools. The show demonstrated several new forms of puppet theatre built upon the principle of using phantasy and empathy within the creative performance. Thus, the participants of the final conference saw an impressive performance rich in artistic expression, which was presented using very simple puppets that the young Norwegian and Slovak artists created and revived directly on the stage in several Etudes. The Norwegian guests admired with appreciation the talent of the young children from the Elementary Art Schools in Modrý Kameň and Veľký Krtíš led by Mgr. Art. Cyril Páriš and Mgr. Art. Sylvia Svákusová, who presented two performances.
The newly restored Baroque Hall have been designed specifically for those young people, so they can develop their talent and use the premises throughout the year. Moreover, the newly reconstructed premises of the Castle of Modrý Kameň will serve as a venue for interesting art exhibitions, interactive exhibitions for children, exhibitions of the museum collections, concerts and various social gatherings and events. The new historical exposition of the history of Modrý Kameň Castle will be open until the end of June 2017 as one of the main results of implementing the project.