Europe

EU opens House of European History in Brussels

House of European History - interior Image copyright Screen grab
Image caption The museum opens at a particularly testing time for the EU

The EU has opened the House of European History in Brussels - a museum charting Europe's turbulent journey from 20th-Century wars to integration and peace.

The European Parliament President, Antonio Tajani, said the museum was a way to encourage "debate... for a better future". "Here we don't have a line to take," he said, at the opening.

The museum stands in a park near the parliament. The project cost was about €55.4m (£47m), the museum website says.

Critics call it an EU vanity project.

Brussels already has another permanent exhibition tracing the history of the EU - the Parlamentarium.

The House of European History has items from 300 collections across Europe, displayed in the renovated Eastman Building, covering 4,000 sq m (43,056 sq ft).

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Archive film of Hitler: The new museum includes Europe's disasters

The project took 10 years to complete. It was launched by one of Mr Tajani's predecessors, Hans-Gert Pöttering.

Mr Tajani said: "I believe in the European Union because we don't have other solutions.

"To kill Europe is a big mistake. Europe and the European Union is the protection of our citizens."

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It is a particularly testing time for the EU, as the UK embarks on Brexit and anti-EU nationalists tap into voters' worries about immigration and insecure jobs.

Among some 1,500 exhibits, the new museum displays badges from the UK's in/out referendum on EU membership last June.

Mr Pöttering described former UK Prime Minister David Cameron as "a very tragic person" for "what he has done to Europe and especially to his own country".

The referendum was Mr Cameron's initiative - and he resigned after the Leave campaign won. His successor Theresa May launched the UK withdrawal process.

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