Gergely Gulyás, the head of the Prime Minister’s Office, on Thursday inaugurated a Munkacsy Mihaly Hungarian House in Mukachevo (Munkács), in western Ukraine, to serve as a community centre for ethnic Hungarians in Transcarpathia.
The landmark building, which once used to house a branch of the Austrian-Hungarian Bank, was purchased and renewed under the Hungarian government’s Hungarian Houses in Transcarpathia Programme, with a budget of 1.7 billion forints (EUR 4.9m).
In his address, Gulyás thanked local leaders for their support for the project, adding that the local community was “proud of its Hungarian members”.
The community also demonstrates that “peaceful and respectful coexistence between Hungarians and Ukrainians is possible even if we have a tougher job at the level of official state politics,” he said.
Mukachevo “has always been a bridge between nations and communities of different religions and cultures living together,” Gulyas said, adding that the new centre could bring about new opportunities in Hungary-Ukraine relations, too.
The centre was named after renowned painter Mihály Munkácsy (1844-1900), who was born as Mihaly Lieb in the city and later changed his name in reference to his birthplace.