New Brussels museum tells history from European perspective

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - An interactive museum exploring Europe’s diverse history of wars, the EU and even Brexit opens to the public in Brussels on Saturday, trying to tell the story of the continent from a non-national perspective.

Visitors to the modern six-storey House of European History, funded by the European Parliament, can take an interactive tour in 24 languages, starting in antiquity and leading past the two great wars of the 20th century and the reconstruction process towards a united continent that followed.

The museum will continue to evolve with future events such as Brexit, the departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union, the museum’s content coordinator Andrea Mork explained.

“Depending on tomorrow’s events, we are trying to update as much as possible. But as a museum we need a certain distance to evaluate what is important,” she said.

The museum, which cost 55.4 million euros ($60.8 million) plus 7 million euros in annual expenses, was criticized as “a wildly extravagant vanity project” by Jonathan Arnott, a member of the European Parliament for British eurosceptic party UKIP.

The parliament’s president Antonio Tajani dismissed the criticism, saying the museum was an investment in culture as well as the education of future generations.

Reporting by Camille Bottin