The world’s only permanent exhibition of Robert Capa’s photographs will open in October in the Hungarian capital, Budapest, at the recently refurbished Capa Centre, State Minister for Culture Péter Hoppál announced on Tuesday.

At a press conference on the occasion of the day of Hungarian photography Mr. Hoppál said that the government will contribute 500 million forints (EUR 1.64 million) to the refurbishment and expansion of the centre.

The centre will be hosting the 937 photos of Capa’s master collection and a further 48 vintage copies. The exhibition is expected to open on 22 October, the 105th anniversary of Mr. Capa’s birth.

Robert Capa, born in Budapest on 22 October 1913, is considered the world’s greatest war photographer who subsequently covered five wars. He died on 25 May 1954 while during an assignment to cover the First Indochina War for Life magazine he stepped on a landmine in Thai Bin.

DownloadPhoto: Capa Centre

Mr. Hoppál said that the Hungarian state purchased the Capa master collection in 2008 for about 300 million forints from the New York International Centre of Photography (ICP), the curator of the legacy of the world famous photographer of Hungarian extraction. At the time, Hungary pledged that it will exhibit the pictures in a newly established centre. The Capa Centre opened in Budapest in 2013, the 100th anniversary of the photographer’s birth in the former building of the Ernst Museum.

The Ministry of Human Capacities has previously spent 14 million forints to draft the plans for the building’s reconstruction.

Following a government decision this August, the budget will provide another 490.6 million forints to expand and modernize the building, in order to create a fitting exhibition site for the collection.

DownloadPhoto: Capa Centre

Orsolya Kőrösi, managing director of the centre told MTI that the collection, called Master Set III., consists of 937 enlarged images developed in the 1990’s that best represent Capa’s oeuvre. The images had been selected from more than 70.000 negatives in Capa’s legacy by Cornell Capa, the photographer’s younger brother and photography historian Richard Whelan.

The exhibition will be located in the adjacent building, the former Tivoli movie theatre. Ms. Kőrösi said the architect of the museum and the movie theatre, Lajos Ernst originally intended that the two buildings form a single unit and at a previous time have already been connected. The main auditorium of the movie theatre will be dedicated to hosting events, while the photos themselves will be displayed in the air-conditioned technical rooms of the theatre. Some 150-200 photos will be displayed at any time in rotations of several months, in order to better conserve the images. The entry hall will have a cafe and a museum shop.

Construction is expected to begin in early 2018, after the public procurement tenders have been completed and architect Zoltán Szécsi said the exhibition space for the images will be around 200-300 square meters.

The Capa Centre currently popularizes the works of contemporary Hungarian photo journalists and exhibits domestic and foreign contemporary photographs. It is also a centre for professional training and education of the general public.