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Controversy over 'EU museum' continues

brussels bureau

Controversy over 'EU museum' continues


Belgian theatre director Thomas Bellinck has a vision.

It is the year 2018. The European Union has collapsed after the continent became mired in a Great Recession.

A rise of nationalism and euroscepticism brought the project to its knees, according Bellinck’s new exhibition in central Brussels, the House of European History in Exile.

“I try to show how we as citizens are losing responsibility and awareness of our place in the European Union. I try to show what the institutions are and how they function because people no longer know,” he told euronews.

“The peace in what we are living right now, that it is very unique in history, and that is not ever lasting, that might at some point stop.”

Bellinck’s museum is an ironic take on a forthcoming EU project.

The House of European History is a public funded attraction set to open by the end of 2015.

Its goal is to express a common European identity and narrative.

Taja Vovk van Gaal, the director of the House of European History, said: “We would like to present different perspectives on different processes and events, but also giving a visitor [a chance] to deal with his or her own knowledge and experiences and to confront that with what will be shown in the exhibition.”

But it comes with a 52 million euro price tag, and it will cost 12 million euros a year to keep it open.

Critics call it a waste of money.

Marta Andreasen, the British Conservative MEP, said: “There is no European identity. They will be rewriting the history in their own way. I do not think it has any value added, I think it is a waste of money”.

The project’s backers argue it will contribute to people’s understanding of the EU.

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