The Museum of European Cultures was called into being in 1999 and was created by merging the 110 year-old Museum of European Ethnology (Museum für Volkskunde) with the European collection of the Ethnological Museum. It focuses on lifeworlds in Europe and European cultural points of contact from the 18th century until today. Comprising some 27,000 original objects, the museum houses one of the largest European collections of everyday culture and popular art. The topics covered by the collection are as diverse as the cultures of Europe themselves: ranging from weddings to commemorating the dead, the cult of Napoleon to Halloween, music on Sardinia, the historically pagan 'Perchten’ processions in the Alps ... the list goes on and on.
After two years of extensive renovation work, the Museum of European Cultures will again be open to the public from 9 December 2011, in the modernist building designed by Bruno Paul in Dahlem. The reopening will see the permanent collection, 'Cultural Contacts. Life in Europe’ go on show alongside the rotating presentation of the study collection, beginning with 'Children’s toys from Europe’. These two shows will be enriched by the temporary exhibition 'Explorations in Europe. Visual Studies in the 19th Century’.
The 'Month of Culture in the Museum of European Cultures' forms a particular highlight and has been held every year since 2000. During the 'Month of Culture' a particular European region is presented to the public.
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