László Magyar Bicentennial Commission

On June 29, 2018, during a meeting held at the Arts Faculty of the University ELTE  a László Magyar Bicentennial Commission was established to commemorate the bicentennial of the birth of László Magyar, traveller, Afrika-researcher, corresponding member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, with the participation of the representatives of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (Africa Sub-Commission, Library and Information Center), the ELTE University in Budapest, (Savaria University Center in Szombathely, Institute of History, Department of Portuguese), the Hungarian Museum of Geography in Érd, the Hungarian Africa Society, the Hungarian Africa knowledge-base, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary (Africa Department), the Embassy of Hungary to Luanda, the Embassies of Angola and of Portugal to Hungary, the Árpád Göncz Foundation and the Friends of László Magyar.

László Magyar was born in Szombathely on November 13, 1818. After his marine studies in Fiume he travelled to Brazil on an Austrian mail boat  in 1843, as a midshipman. He navigated the oceans from the Caribbean See to the Indian Ocean, as marine officer and captain on different boats. His interest in Africa started later. Between 1848 and 1856 he realized tree major trips to the actual Angolan territory. On his travels in Bié he explored the catchment area of the Congo and Zambezi rivers, the marshland of the Cubango and Okavango rivers as well as the tributaries of the river Kuanza. He sent his research material, travel books and the maps he made on the territories he explored to the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, which elected him corresponding member in 1858 and published his oeuvre in 1859 under the title „ László Magyar’s South African travels between 1848 and 1857”. This book was soon published in German translation. In his town of birth and in Dunaföldvár there is a monument commemorating the Africa researcher who died at the age of 46, and several schools bear his name.

On the occasion of this bicentennial there will be scientific conferences at the Library and Information Center of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, the Hungarian Museum of Geography and in the Savaria University Center of ELTE Szombathely. In the capital of Angola an exhibition is planned on the life of László Magyar, sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Embassy of Hungary to Luanda, among others.

Researches are encouraged to reveal further Magyar documents in Hungary as well as in the archives of Luanda and Lisbon. There is a fervent wish to continue to publish László Magyar’s works and correspondence in foreign language and his maps in facsimile, so that this outstanding Africa-researcher finds his well-earned place at international level also.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Farewell Barbecue for H.E. Palestine and H.E. Egypt
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2018.06.29
László Magyar Bicentennial Commission
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2018.05.08
Portuguese Language and Culture Day in the "CPLP".
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