English Summary

Since almost two decades, Austria has been discussing a project called "House of Austrian History".
By this is meant a museum of contemporary history which is to concentrate on the history of Austria and
its neigbouring countries since about 1848.

All of the recent governments had pledged to at least plan such a project. But nothing had happened although a number
of expert papers were commissioned. For the considerable sum of EUR 58,000 the last of these papers was elaborated
by Haas/Lordeurop, an Austro-Canadian consulting firm, and delivered to the government in 2009 which instantly buried it
in the drawers of the Federal Chancery.

It was only in early 2015 when the present Minister of Culture, Josef Ostermayer, released the ban by publishing the document on the government website:


He followed up with the idea not to erect a new building but to use around 3,000 square meters of space  in the Vienna Hofburg (Imperial Castle) to create the "Haus der Geschichte Österreichs" (HGÖ). This floor space is to be made available by re-organizing/reducing the Ethnographic Museum and the Collection of Old Music Instruments, both commanding ample flights of rooms in he castle.

Subsequently, the renowned Austrian historian Oliver Rathkolb, an expert on contemporary history, was commissioned to chair the preparations for creating the HGÖ over the next three years - hoping to open the museum on the Centennial of the founding of the Republic of Austria in 1918.

Mr. Rathkolb secured the assistance of a scientific advisory council, consisting of more than 30 Austrian and international historians and museologists.
In a kick-off press conference on 9th September, 2015, Minister Josef Ostermayer and his conservative counterpart, State Secretary Harald Mahrer, presented the complete project which is described in detail in the section "Konzept".

The time schedule provides for creating the HGÖ as a "sister institution" of the Austrian National Library by an amendment to the 2002 Federal Museums Act to be passed by Parliament until the end of 2015.
Although docking on the National Library, the HGÖ will be equipped with its own management and its own budget. Time and cost plans for the project should be ready by November 2015. On this basis, concrete action can begin in early 2016.

steering committee for the project has been created in which the Castle Administration, the Federal Real Estate Company, the Monuments Office, the National Library, the Museum of Fine Arts, the University of Vienna, the Academy of Fine Arts and the Governor's Conference as well as the Chancellery, the Ministry of Science, the Finance Department, the Interior and Defense ministries will be represented. This working party will  elaborate plans for the entire Heldenplatz area which is to be freed of automobiles by means of an underground garage, providing also additional storage rooms for the National Library.

small scientific advisory committee  will accompany the content planning.

The future House of Austrian History will have three main functions, to be fulfilled offline and online:

- to provide a permanent exhibition elaborate
- to initiate tempory showings
- to act as a discussion forum for historical and political topics, especially, the development of Austrian democracy.

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