What's Up?! EthnoConference

Conference of Directors of European Ethnographic Museums 25/May/2022 - 28/May/2022

You can download the whole programme and more details about the conference in this e-book.

What's Up?! is the question we ask in What's Up?! EthnoConference for Directors of European Ethnographic Museums. The aim of the international conference, which will be accompanied by the opening and inaugural presentation of the new building and exhibitions of the Museum of Ethnography, is to present the changes that have taken place in recent years, the rethinking and renewal of the museum profession and ethnographic museums in terms of organisation, structure, content and, even more, physical and architectural aspects.

More than 20 directors of European ethnographic museums will speak about "what's going on?" or "What's Up?!" in their museums. The first major event of the newly inaugurated Museum of Ethnography in Budapest reveals the trends influencing the international museum world: what is the situation in the European institutions, why professionals have felt and feel the need for restructuring and rethinking, what is the role of an ethnographic museum in the 21st century and what role they should play in society.

One of the main aims of the conference is to launch an exchange of views on the processes, difficulties and opportunities involved in rethinking the organisation, the building or the exhibitions. Together we would like to create a European panorama of the changes that have taken place in recent years and the issues of ethnographic and anthropological museums in the 21st century.

The three-day professional conference will be the first of its kind to be held between 25 and 27 May 2022 in the conference room of the new building of the Museum of Ethnography on Dózsa György Street, bringing together not only the Hungarian but also the international museum profession.

Programme and registration:


What’s Up?! EthnoConference

Conference of Directors of
European Ethnographic Museums

24-28 May 2022

Bilingual conference
free translation available on site

* Program subject to change!


Dózsa György út – The new building of the Museum of Ethnography
In the conference room of the new building of the Museum of Ethnography. Access from the Heroes' Square side (next to the City Park).


Tuesday, 24 May

In the Hotel (Danubius Hotel Helia)
Welcome cocktail & welcoming speech


Day 1 - Wednesday, 25 May

10:00-13:00 – Opening Ceremony

Ceremonial opening of the new building and the temporary exhibition of the Museum of Ethnography entitled We have arrived.


lunch pause


14:30-16:30 – What’s Up?! EthnoConference

At the crossroads of transitions - the Museum of Ethnography in Budapest (HU)
Dr Lajos Kemecsi – Director-General, Museum of Ethnography, Hungary

Museum renovation for innovative and smart institutional growth (EN)
Dr Goranka Horjan – Director-General, Ethnographic Museum Zagreb, Croatia

The MARKK in Motion - Successes and challenges in the repositioning of an ethnographic museum in Hamburg (EN)
Prof. Dr Barbara Plankensteiner – Director-General, Museum am Rothenbaum, Kulturen und Künste der Welt (MARKK), Germany

Nordiska Museet in Stockholm: balancing between continuity and change (EN)
Dr Sanne Houby-Nielsen – Director-General, Nordiska Museet, Sweden

Old Spaces, New Futures? Becoming a Pitt Rivers Museum that centres radical hope, repair and reconciliation. (EN)
Prof. Dr Laura Van Broekhoven - Director, Pitt Rivers Museum, UK

& Discussion, Q&A


18:00 – Opening Ceremony

Opening ceremony of the ZOOM and Ceramic Space of the Museum of Ethnography.



Day 2 - Thursday, 26 May

from 8:30

Registration (during the day)


The museum at the time of crisis. Old problems and new challenges. (EN)
Robert Zydel – Director-General, The National Museum of Ethnography, Poland

A New Project of the Slovak National Museum in Martin (EN)
Branislav Panis – Director-General, Slovak National Museum, Slovakia
Radovan Sýkora – Director, Ethnography Museum SNM Martin, Slovakia

Moving the ethnological collections of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin into the heart of the city (EN)
Prof. Dr Lars-Christian Koch – Director-General, Humboldt Forum, Germany

& Discussion, Q&A


coffee break


The New National in Finland – making space for a new way to be a National Museum (EN)
Dr Elina Anttila – Director-General, The National Museum of Finland, Finland

Challenges of the new start. Re-launching Estonian National Museum concept in the new building (EN)
Dr Kertu Saks – Director-General, Estonian National Museum, Estonia

Civilized and barbaric. Museums of ours, museums of others: Impassable borders in France (EN)
Dr André Delpuech – Heritage conservationist, University professor, Researcher, EHESS, France

& Discussion, Q&A


lunch pause



Ethnographic museums in the 21st century (EN)
Ralf Čeplak Mencin – ICOM-ICME president, Slovene Ethnographic Museum, Slovenia

Museums for the 21st century – relevant, engaged and curated with the community (EN)
Dr Ann Follin – Director-General, Världskulturmuseerna, Sweden

The MAS: the first decade of a glocal museum (EN)
Dr Leen Beyers – Head of research and collections and curator, Museum aan de Stroom (MAS), Belgium

& Discussion, Q&A

In the Gundel Restaurant

Dinner reception



Day 3 – Friday, 27 May

from 8:30

Registration (during the day)


Renovation of the AfricaMuseum (EN)
Dr Bambi Ceuppens – anthropologist, AfricaMuseum, Belgium

Practicing transparency in becoming a network museum: REINVENTING GRASSI.SKD (EN)
Léontine Meijer-van-Mensch – Director-General, Staatliche Ethnographische Sammlungen Sachsen, Germany

Global Milan. An innovative collection display between participation and controversy (EN & ONLINE)
Dr. Carolina Orsini – Deputy Director, Head of Collections Department, MUDEC Museo delle Culture, Italy

Alimentarium’s Strategic Evolution 2021+: one experience – two platforms, developing audiences, communities and measuring success (EN)
Dr Boris Wastiau – Director-General, Alimentarium, Switzerland

& Discussion, Q&A


coffee break


Preservation, accessibility, contemporaneity. The roles and responsibilities of ethnographic museums in the 21st century (HU)
Dr Péter Granasztói – Deputy Director-General for Collections, Museum of Ethnography, Hungary

On the move again. Renewed knowledge mediation, public relations and communication in the Museum of Ethnography (HU)
Dr Gábor Veres – Deputy Director-General, Museum of Ethnography, Hungary

Permanent and temporary: characteristics of the exhibition strategy of the Museum of Ethnography (HU)
Dr Zsuzsanna Szarvas – Project leader, Museum of Ethnography, Hungary

Collections at a crossroad? (HU)
Dr Veronika Schleicher– Head of Collections Department, Museum of Ethnography, Hungary

& Discussion, Q&A


lunch break

Bus from Museum to Storage Centre

Guided tour in the National Conservation and Storage Centre



Saturday, 28 May

Open Air Museum Szentendre

Cultural program