“The Government has purchased the painting Golgotha, by Mihály Munkácsy”, Minister heading the Prime Minister’s Office Gergely Gulyás announced on Wednesday at a press conference held jointly with Member of Parliament for Debrecen Lajos Kósa (Fidesz) and Mayor of Debrecen László Papp.

The Government purchased the painting from Imre Pákh for 3 billion forints (EUR 9.3 million), Mr. Gulyás said, adding that several expert opinions have been prepared, and the estimates confirm the purchase price.

“As a result, the ownership of all three paintings of the Munkácsy trilogy – Christ before Pilate, Ecce Homo and Golgotha – are in order, all three painting are under Hungarian state ownership, and the paintings will be permanently placed in the Déri Museum in Debrecen”, the Minister explained at the announcement held in Parliament’s Munkácsy Hall.

“This is important news for lovers of Hungarian culture and important news for fans of Munkácsy; both Debrecen and the country as a whole have gained from the acquisition”, the politician said.

Lajso Kósa pointed out that the paintings were first seen  together in 1995 in the Déri Museum in Debrecen, and also recalled that the painting entitled Christ before Pilate was purchased by the Hungarian State in 2015 from the Hamilton Gallery in Canada within the framework of the Hungarian National Bank’s Depository programme.

The “life” of the paintings is at least as exciting as the paintings themselves, the MP said.

Mayor of Debrecen László Papp spoke about the fact that the purchase represents the realisation of a 100-year-old wish that the trilogy, which are a symbol of Debrecen, should be under state ownership.

He promised that the City would take great care of the painting.

The public saw the pieces of the collection, which depict the life of Jesus, together for the first time on 25 August 1995. The joint exhibition of the paintings is particularly interesting in view of the fact that not even Munkácsy himself had the opportunity to see the three works, which depict biblical scenes, together.