The article presents the Museum of Europe in Brussels: its organisation, budget and activity since its creation in 1997. It shows its similarity to American museums that started as initiatives of the civil society, initially without neither their own collections nor buildings. As the Museum of Europe is conceived as a museum of European history, the article devotes the pride of space to the historical programme of Museum starting with its assumptions. Among these, the most important states that history of Europe is not an addition of national histories but a history of a specific level of integration superimposed upon nations, religions, confessions and the like. Second important assumption: history of Europe is a long history measured not in decades but in centuries if not millennia. The Museum of Europe will try to show such a long history of Europe with periods of integration interspersed with those when centrifugal tendencies dominated. For obvious reasons it cannot be done in one exhibition. The Museum will present it therefore in a series of seven exhibitions devoted respectively to 'Greeks', to 'Celts and Romans', to 'Byzantium and the West', to 'Unity through Faith', to 'Religious Wars', to 'Unity through the Enlightenment', to 'Wars of Ideologies' and to 'Unity through the Common Project'. The last exhibition which shows the European integration after the Second World War will inaugurate the Museum of Europe on 25 October 2007. It attempts to immerse the advances of the European integration since the Steel and Coal Community of six countries until the European Union with 27 members in the history of the cold war and to present jointly events in Western Europe and those that happened in countries incorporated into the Soviet bloc. And it tries to show how this history refracted itself into 27 life stories of anonymous Europeans. This is what gives to the exhibition its title: 'It is our history. Fifty years of the European venture'.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.