Múzeum Telesnej Kultúry

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„The basic reference document creating actual conditions for the implementation of the museum documentation for the periods of building of the socialism and the present period at a higher level of quality and that means in this direction a period of switch for museums and other production and non-production organisations, is the Resolution of the Government of the Slovak Socialist Republic No 200 of 1 July1981 relating to the Principles of the provision of comprehensive documentation of the period of building of the socialism“.

We have intentionally chosen this citation for the introduction on the history of the foundation of the Physical Culture Museum in the SR. The Resolution that was positioned at the level of the law namely „recommended” to all organisations to found or develop existing documentation centres of museum type (halls of production traditions, memorial rooms, rooms of revolutionary traditions, etc.) in all areas of the production and non-production sectors of the socialist state formation – Slovak Socialist Republic, as a part of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic. The existing museums should have become a coordinator, methodological and specialised managing centres of the individual industries.

The Historical Institute of the Slovak National Museum in Bratislava and regional museums administered by national committees should have become such coordinator for the area of physical culture, sport and defence in Slovakia. In the aforesaid period there was namely no other, more suitable partner in Slovakia. The physical culture and sport were built on the basis of the voluntary public interest organisation – Slovak Organisation of the Czechoslovak Physical Culture Union. This situation persisted in Slovakia after November 1989 (decline of the communist regime), or until the year 1993 (formation of the independent Slovak Republic).

When in the year 1953 in the Czech Republic the Tyrš Museum of physical culture and sport was established at the State Office of Physical Culture and Sport, it should have executed the function of a national museum. It means also in direction of the documentation and mapping of the sport events in Slovakia. However, for several reasons, it executed this function only sporadically, as the lists of acquisition activities from that period also prove.

On  the basis of the document quoted above, by the deed of establishment of the Presidency of the Central Committee of the Czechoslovak Physical Culture Union („CSPCU“), the Physical Culture Museum („PCM“) as specialised facility of the Slovak Central Committee of CSPCU („SCC of CSPCU“) without a legal personality was founded on 24 October 1985.

At the first stage of its existence it functioned as „central documentation and information and political educational institution of SCC of CSPCU“. From the organisational view it was classified as division in the political and educational department of SCC of CSPCU. From the personnel view it was staffed, on the basis of the categorisation of CSPCU employees – by 4 persons – 1 divisional manager, 1 senior officer-specialist , 1 senior officer and 1 secretary (with cumulated function of a librarian). The filling of positions of the divisional manager and senior officers was conditioned by the completed university education. The personnel proposal for the year 1990 included the completion of the workplace by filing another position by a senior officer-specialist for archiving and documentation purposes with completed university education. Financial costs of PCM, on the basis of the presented budget, were covered from budget of SCC of CSPCU. At present three permanent positions are filled. Due to the cancellation of the position of senior officer by the promoter in the year 1993 the Museum has been supplementing his absence, when required, by signing contracts for work.

Today, from the view of the 25 year existence of the workplace, we can say that one of the most serious errors on the part of the promoter made upon foundation was that he did not create own exhibition and working area for the Physical Culture Museum in the SR.

In the years 1985 to 1989 PCM workplaces and deposits were located in unsuitable premises in the basement of the House of Sports, a building owned by the promoter. In the year 1989, following a series of failed attempts at the provision of more suitable premises (involving selected administrative and sport buildings in which, after the required adaptations, premises for the exhibition activity of the Museum would be also created), PCM moved, under the lease contract, into administrative premises of the bowling building, owned at that time by SPCU. The initial plan in the framework of this movement included the project for the completion of the bowling building that should serve for the purposes of exhibition, offices, and deposits of PCM.

With a change of the political system in the year 1989 the sport movement in Slovakia was reorganised. The Slovak Physical Culture Association (SPCA) became a succession organisation of CSPCU in Slovakia, which also assumed the succession obligations toward PCM.

After the post-November events in 1989 the project of the completion of the building serving for the museum was definitely rejected, especially for economic reasons. The original owner of SPCU purchased the bowling building to the new owner – Slovak Bowling Union which let out the premises, designed for exhibition premises of PCM, on the long-term lease for another  purposes.

Nowadays the Museum has a seat in the founder´s  building in the House of Sports on Junacka 6 in Bratislava.

Following the formation of the independent state (1 January 1993) PCM became the only specialised museum with affinity to the history of sport in the Slovak Republic. Since 2000 PCM is a properly registered museum entered in the register of the Ministry of Culture in the SR as „national specialised museum with function of methodological and coordination centre in the area of its specialisation“. It is classified to specialised non-state museums. From the view of its importance and specialisation, it is the only museum in the Slovak Republic administered by a promoter that is not a state institution. In the period of years 1996 to 2005 PCM submitted to the promoter several proposals for improvements of conditions of its existence, particularly from the view of legal status, because PCM as a part of SPCU did not have the legal personality. This problem has become evident especially in years 2004 and 2005 when the Ministry of Education, following economic problems of SPCU, has decided not to provide financial resources for PCM through its promoter (SPCU) but to finance it directly in form of a state subsidy.

From its foundation (1985) PCM had its annual budgets directly related to the promoter’s budget. The situation changed in the year 2004 when a sub-account of PCM was opened under the account of the promoter for the purpose of the reception of state subsidies for activities and wages of PCM employees. The budgetary rules for the utilisation of state subsidies namely do not allow to given entities to tie up with the opened sub-account funds stemming from other sources. PCM as institution without legal personality could not therefore open another account. Due to several enforcement procedures conducted against the promoter that meant the blocking of accounts, it could not put received funds on the promoter’s account either. For this reason it has implemented the financing of it’s, particularly exhibition, projects under contracts on their financing directly by the investor (especially sport unions). There are no doubts that such contracts were disadvantageous (particularly from the view of marketing activity).

Only at the beginning of the year 2005, with arrival of new management of SPCU, the new statute of PCM has  determined  a new classification of PCM, The Physical Culture Museum is constituted therein as organisational unit entitled to act in own name, which changes not only legal relations but also its economic relations to the promoter

On the basis of the new statute, the forms and ways of organisational and control activities of the Museum were determined by its promoter and their performance are ensured by bodies of PCM in the SR. Bodies of the Museum are the Board of PCM in the SR, director, controller, Commission for the Creation of Collections, Scientific Board of PCM in the SR . If required, the Board of PCM in the SR will appoint other specialised bodies where their establishment is required by the law or by decision of the promoter.

The Board of PCM in the SR is supreme body of PCM in the SR, approves the draft budget of PCM in the SR and submits it for approbation to the promoter, approves the draft annual financial statements and draft annual report, submits proposals for changes to the promoter, decides on other matters within the scope and under conditions laid down in the statute of the promoter. The Board has five members who are appointed by the promoter. The board is composed of a representative of the promoter, representative of the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic of the SR, representative of the museum community, representative of the Slovak Olympic Committee and director of PCM in the SR.

The Physical Culture Museum in the SR, in the framework of its valid statute and other defined mission, systematically executes particularly the acquisition of collection objects, their professional administration, keeping of records, protection, utilisation and exhibition in the form of permanent exhibitions, temporary exhibitions, publication and editing activities, cultural and educational activities and scientific and research activity. It develops professional, methodological and documentation activities in the area of physical culture in the Slovak Republic.

The first objects with collection character were registered in PCM in the year 1987 . It has in its collections more than 27000 objects. The Museum still acquires most objects through donations or by direct collection; a part of collections stems from purchases. During its twenty year acquisition activity PCM succeeded to collect, in many cases directly save from destruction, a series of objects that have undeterminable historical value from the view of the documentation of sport cultural heritage of Slovakia. A significant part of the Museum collections is the Olympic collection. Just the intensive cooperation with the Slovak Olympic Committee (founded in 1992) has brought the bilaterally advantageous cooperation. In relation to past negotiations, the establishment of information Olympic documentation centre on the grounds of the Museum is being considered. At present the project is at the stage of searching for financial resources to cover its activities.

The library and the photo archives are parts of the Museum most frequently visited by professional and general public. The library registers more than 12 000 publications, magazines, and small prints with affinity of sport in Slovakia. A significant part of the library is the collection of domestic and foreign Olympic literature with very solid representation of historical sport literature.

The photo archives with more than 120 000 units of photographs, slides and negatives forms an unique collection in Slovakia.

In the end of the year 2001, following to negotiations between the National Bank of Slovakia – Museum of Coins and Medals in Kremnica (historical city in Central Slovakia) and the Slovak Physical Culture Association, the skiing collection was transferred from the Museum of Coins and Medals to PCM. This collection comprising different objects from the history of skiing in Slovakia was built during the previous 15 years in the Museum of Coins and Medals that also fulfilled the function of a municipal museum. After it has passed under a new promoter, National Bank of Slovakia, negotiations were conducted with representatives of the City of Kremnica who showed their interest in the preservation and making available of the collection in the city. Upon signature of contract conditions for building of a permanent exhibition of skiing in Slovakia and its deposit from common resources have been created. The Physical Culture Museum in the SR has become a professional sponsor of the exhibition and owner of the collections. Since the year 2003 when a new permanent exhibition of the history of skiing in Slovakia was made available to the public, the Museum acquired in the framework of the exhibition premises the area for the organisation of temporary exhibitions. It employs under contract one specialist for the administration of the skiing deposit. Despite of the short period of its existence the Permanent Exhibition of Skiing in Slovakia has found its regular visitors and ranked among museum premises in Slovakia.

The problem of absence of a permanent exhibition premises in Bratislava as seat of PCM is solved by the lease of exhibition rooms from other museums or cultural institutions (especially from the Municipal Museum in Bratislava or the Slovak National Museum). The Museum has succeeded to prepare several successful projects there, mostly own exhibition projects that have been offered to individual unions or sport organisations, to order their implementation. Many of them, through reinstallation, had a great success in other regions of Slovakia as well.

The brief summary of the development and activities of the Physical Culture Museum only allows taking a cursory view of the complicated issues of sport museums in the Slovak Republic. In spite of persisting problems we can conclude that the Physical Culture Museum in the SR with content of its activities has established itself as permanent and respected part of the Slovak museum community.

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