A bust of 19th century Hungarian reform statesman Lajos Kossuth was inaugurated in Buffalo, New York on Saturday, commemorating the 100th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the United States and Hungary.
The bust was inaugurated by István Pásztor, Hungary’s Consul General in New York, Péter B. Nagy, special consul for the Hungarian diaspora, Peter Forgach, Hungary’s honorary consul in Buffalo, and James, J. Maher, president of Niagara University.
Hungary’s consulate general in New York said the bust is meant to commemorate Kossuth’s visit to Niagara Falls on May 22, 1852 and to pay tribute to the Hungarians who emigrated to the US in the 19th and 20th centuries.
According to Hungarianfreepress however, the statue had gone through quite a lot. They reported that the statue a “generous present of the Orbán government to the City of Boston and planned to be installed at Faneuil Hall, where Lajos Kossuth gave a speech in 1852 when he visited the US”. It looked like the negotiations were already done and this was a mutual idea.
But it turned out that Boston never wanted the bust and so they did not install it at Fanueil Hall, the site said. The bust had quite a journey and it is thanks to Peter Forgach that is ended up in Buffalo, some 400 miles (630 kilometres) from its original destination
Kossuth’s efforts to keep the ideas of the freedom fight of 1848-49 alive had a significant impact on the United States as well, the consulate said, adding that multiple US presidents, including Abraham Lincoln and Jonh F. Kennedy had quoted Kossuth several times.
In his speech at the inauguration ceremony, Nagy said the creation of the bust had been supported by Hungarians all over the US.
At the ceremony, Maher was presented with the Hungarian Golden Cross of Merit on behalf of President János Áder for his contributions to the development of Hungarian-US education and cultural ties as well as his efforts to help Buffalo’s Hungarian community preserve their identity and culture.