Colourful historical figures in the city centre, family history exhibition - Private Veszprém project reaches a new stage


The Private Veszprém project has reached a new stage: for a few days now, visitors to the city centre of Veszprém have been able to see the public sculptures of historical figures, whichhave been temporarily placed in several locations around the city. In addition, an open-air exhibition entitled Veszprém Family Stories was opened in the ActiCity Dance and Movement Centre, with the participation of local families.

The aim of the Private Veszprém project is to map the city's past through the family history of local residents, and to recreate the past 150 years through an imaginary journey through time.

Photo points and Veszprém family history exhibition

A significant element of the Private Veszprém project, the carefully selected and digitised photo collection, was made possible with the involvement of local people. A lasting platform of shared memories, going beyond the VEB2023 ECoC programmes, has been created in the collection, which is significant from both a family and urban history point of view, from the personal and family photos of the residents, as well as from their family history narratives. Artist Dávid Szauder, one of the creators of the programme, using artificial intelligence, created the unique graphics that serve as backgrounds for the family history photographs.  

"When we dreamt up this project a few years ago, I was thinking about how to define a city, in this case the city of Veszprém. I think one of the most important things is the history of a place. Veszprém has attracted many visitors through the VEB2023 ECoC programmes, but the question that arose in my mind was how to give people a figurative souvenir of the city's past, that they could take back home and, in addition or as a result of this, develop a sense of the collective past of the locals. Private Veszprém is really about presenting the city's past not through official sources, but through people's private stories, photos, old shop windows and the so-called legends of the city" - explains Dávid Szauder.

Temporary public sculpture exhibition

Veszprém has been home to many exceptional people who have contributed to the history of the city and the country, to science, or to the history of art. As a unique element of the project, the life stories of the individuals displayed can be found on the pedestals of these informative statues by means of a QR code. The deliberately eye catching appearance of the works encourages interaction and the taking of a photo together.  

The statue of Jenő Cholnoky - the researcher of Lake Balaton, the geographer nominated for the Nobel Prize - was placed in the courtyard of Kossuth street 7. The sculpture, modelled to depict the master barber Károly Francsics, can be seen in front of the former barber shop at 4 Rákóczi Street. The statue of Dr. Jenő Rosenberg, Chief Medical Officer, was erected in front of the KUNSZT! The statue of Ferenc Óvári, former Member of Parliament and founder of the Balaton Association, is located in the street named after him, opposite the theatre he founded. Imre Csikász, the freelance sculptor known as the "Hungarian Rodin", is standing in front of the Fricska restaurant. 

The project is a journey through time in its own right: the sculptures of the great predecessors were created by people alive today. His descendant Péter Jávor played Jenő Cholnoky. Student Artúr Zentai modelled Jenő Rosenberg. László Laki, a prominent figure in Hungarian cultural life, modelled Imre Csikász. The statue of Ferenc Óvári was modelled by Gusztáv Zeitler, a history teacher from Veszprém, while Károly Francsics was modelled by Péter G. Tóth, a historian who himself researched Francsics' life and analysed his texts. The models were captured using scanning techniques, then modelled and finally realised with a 3D printer.

If you have not seen the sculptures yet, we will show them to you now!

Francsics Károly master barber

Jenő Cholnoky

Ferenc Óvári

Dr Jenő Rosenberg

Imre Csikász

(Photos: Private Veszprém project)

The open-air exhibition of Veszprém family stories will be open until 5 November, while the public sculpture installations in the city centre will be open until the end of December. 


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