To keep a museum alive and enrich local culture, Veronika Baranová is in constant contact with business partners, cities, schools and many other organisations. The EU bank helps her get the job done.

  Mám prácu: Manažérka múzea obohacuje miestnu kultúru na Slovensku

Veronika Baranová’s job title is marketing manager. Her actual work is to keep a local museum alive.

“It’s hard to make a lot of money only by selling tickets,” says Veronika, 39, who lives in Hrabušice in central-eastern Slovakia, where tourism and hiking are two of the top industries. “For museums and other public buildings or cultural organisations, we spend a lot of our time raising money from the founders, the ministries, businesses, banks. Financial support just for renovations and maintenance is very important.”

Slovakia museum culture serves tourists and locals

Veronika works at the Podtatranské Museum in Poprad, about a 20-minute drive north from her home. Poprad is at the foot of the High Tatras Mountains, which are popular for skiing and hiking. It’s a good base for tourists, who like visiting the centuries-old houses and churches. The museum is a hit with residents too, appreciated locally for its interesting children’s activities.

Built in the late 1880s, the museum is the only place in Slovakia where visitors can learn about the Neanderthals who lived in the area 120 000 years ago. The museum has exhibits on prehistoric times, history, science and folk architecture.

Veronika started working at the museum in 2016 after the European Investment Bank signed a €25 million loan to finance projects that make eastern Slovakia more attractive to residents, tourists and outside investors. The projects upgraded roads and improved schools, social services and cultural offerings.

Veronika’s job is one of millions created with the European Investment Bank’s support. By 2021, investments signed by the Bank in 2017 alone are expected to raise EU gross domestic product by 1.1% and to create 1.2 million jobs.  Even in 2036, EU GDP will be 0.7% higher as a result of the EIB's 2017 investments, and 650 000 extra jobs will have been added.

Building a Slovakia museum culture brand is top challenge

The Podtatranské Museum took a €1.6 million loan from the European Investment Bank’s financing package for eastern Slovakia, to renovate the building, upgrade exhibits and hire staff.

Financial support for the restoration of our buildings and other cultural sites is hard to find, so getting help from the European Investment Bank is necessary,” Veronika says. “One of the biggest challenges is building a strong brand name for the museum, so it is important that we improve the building and keep the offerings interesting.”

In eastern Slovakia, it can be hard to find work that is interesting and fulfilling, Veronika says, so she is fortunate. “It’s also very important to have time for my children and family life. This job offers me all of that.”

She hopes the European Investment Bank and other institutions keep supporting culture, because it is a key element in a region’s prosperity and quality of life.

“Museums preserve and protect cultural heritage and enrich the education and life of citizens,” she says, “so it is important to preserve them.”