Memorial park in the capital of the wine region

Tokaj Foundation is establishing a memorial park in the eponymous settlement of the wine region. The aim of the initiative is to bring into being a place where the posterity should commemorate the former professional greats of the wine region in a worthy manner. For the very first time, on the 18th of September, Tokaj Foundation organizes the ceremonial inauguration of the bust commemorating Dr. József SZABÓ, who prepared the geological map of Tokaj-Hegyalja 150 years ago.

The wine region this year celebrates the 150th anniversary of the first geological map of Tokaj-Hegyalja since it was published by Dr. József Szabó, the Professor of Geology of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. He came into contact with the wine region when studying the volcanic activities and events. József Szabó dealt with the scientific study of Tokaj-Hegyalja for more than three decades in ten works.
Proud to salute the work of the Professor of Geology, Tokaj Foundation, with the intention of preparing the most detailed copies, republishes the geological map created in high precision 150 years ago.
József Szabó, the founding father of the Hungarian Geological school is honoured not only by this publication, but also the inauguration of the bust erected to his memory. Lajos KOSSUTH’s former Commissioner of Mines and Director of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences did a lot for Tokaj-Hegyalja besides drawing up the map. The bust of the Professor will be the first sculpture located in the memorial park of the eponymous settlement of the wine region.

A tribute to the great predecessors
– Establishing this memorial park we wish to bring closer the messages from the past to the people of today - says winemaker Zoltán DEMETER, founder of Tokaj Foundation. – Hegyalja is still indebted to those large format personalities who had devoted the creative periods of their lives to understand, to make accepted and to raise up the wine region during its more than five hundred years of history. Contemporaries and people in the near past have not paid enough attention to this direction. In addition to the frequently mentioned Máté Laczkó, who is often used as a reference of the past, there were many more historic persons in this wine region that has been living almost always in a revolutionary mood fighting for success.
In honour of them this memorial park is being established in the cultural centre of the capital of the wine region. The initiative was warmly welcomed by the local government as well.
Tokaj - and probably not only Tokaj - needs such public spaces where people can meet and thoughts can be changed and be born. Beyond establishing the memorial park and creating an environment suiting the sculptures, the hidden desire of the foundation is to achieve this.
The Foundation – in close cooperation and support of the local government of Tokaj – wishes to transform the territory and spaces of the memorial park with the means of a conscious landscape-architecture. They dreamt of a modern leisure park in quality meeting international standards. A Budapest based landscape-architecture office was entrusted with putting down the plans on paper.
The first bronze bust to be unveiled on the 18th of September in the memorial park is the work of Budapest sculptor Antal Illyés.
A preparatory body reaches agreement and submits proposal on who to be commemorated in the memorial park in the coming years and decades. The members of the body are Dr. Kornél NAGY, historian and associate of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, László ALKONYI, the region\'s former chronicler, winemaker, Krisztián SAUSKA estate owner, Dr. Tibor KOVÁCS, estate manager of Tokaj-Hétszőlő, György POSTA, mayor of Tokaj and Zoltán DEMETER, owner/winemaker, founder of the foundation.

Tokaj Foundation plans to invite other artists on every occasion to prepare the given work – thereby providing a community platform where contemporary sculptors can present their work, even creating the foundations of a future creative camp.
The foundation is also preparing to republish the facsimile of Tokaj-Hegyalja Album in 2017 which will have been 150 years old by then. The album was the largest topographic work of its age: with classifications, presenting the geological diversity, with the exceptionally beautiful lithographs by Gusztáv KELETI, as well as the geological map by József Szabó. It is important to note that since the release of the album, there has not been published any other book describing the wine region in four languages. The collectors consider the original prints to be true rarities (and even the post-prints as well). There are only three original prints in the wine region.