Malbork Castle Museum, Unesco Site, Malbork, Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland

Starting with the 1st of January 1961, the newly created Castle Museum, a central institution answering only to the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage in Warsaw, became the host of the monument. It is a multi-departmental museum of a historical-artistic nature, the organisation of which was subordinated chiefly to the matters of reconstruction, conservation and correct management of the castle. Parallel to these activities, the Museum also conducts archaeological activities in Lower Powiśle, as well as researching the history, art and culture of Royal Prussia, mainly based on collections in its possession. The accumulation, conservation, scientific description and making available of both modern and old art, are the other tasks of the Malbork institution.

At the threshold of its activity, the Museum had at its disposal merely the relics which had survived the war and the looting after 1945. Apart from the architectural details, there were sparse examples of medieval sculpture and pseudo-gothic furniture from the late 19th century. Currently, the 40 thousand museum items include such valuable collections as one of Europe’s largest collection of medieval architectural elements, a collection of artistic amber wares – unique worldwide, an effective set of old weapons and military equipment, or the extensive coin collection, relating to the historic mints in Malbork. The result of including the Museum in the mainstream of European cultural life, were the International Biennale of Contemporary Bookplates, organised since the 1960s, which bring the castle into the orbit of world class high ranking artistic work. Continued till this day, it has become the largest cyclic artistic event in Poland and the most serious manifestation of this graphic art form in the world. What gives the Museum wide-reaching publicity, are the numerous exhibitions of amber masterpieces in other countries. In the last few years, they were exhibited in the leading museums in Germany, Great Britain, Finland, Sweden, the USA and Japan.

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