Antecedents to Chapel Studio at Balatonboglár

[chapel project] [context 1966]

June 1966 - As an art student György Galántai happens upon a ruined and desolate church yard chapel at Balatonboglár. He makes up his mind to rent it as a studio so he calls on the local pastor Jenő Czövek who gives a warm welcome to the idea. (The following extracts are taken from the pastor’s letters.)

21 July 1966 - "The local council supports your request and will assist you… they want me to consult the diocese executive to Somogy county, as well."
(J. Cz.)

21 December 1966 - "I too am concerned with hurrying the affair along to settle the matter. [...] Please, let me know what your intention is with the ruined chapel so that I can give a proper account of it and nobody finds fault with it."
(J. Cz.)

December 1966 - In his reply, Galántai puts down the major points of the future lease contract.

[chapel project] [context 1967]

1 March 1967 - The pastor asks the diocese authority of Veszprém to confirm the lease of the chapel.
"I have submitted the matter to the diocese authority of Veszprém. [...] I do not know why the head of the local council was afraid, last year, [...] of accepting the fact that I would put the chapel at your disposal. It has been execrated, it cannot be used for service until it is consecrated again.
" (J. Cz.)

20 April 1967 - Pastor Jenő Czövek informs Galántai about the reply of the diocese authority:
"in principle we agree on letting the desolate churchyard chapel, which is in the possession of the parish church, to artist György Galántai. [...] I have consulted the Kaposvár representative of the state church office, too, neither him, nor the local council have any objections to the matter." (J.Cz.)

July 1967 - beginning of 1968 - Having cleaned up the chapel and its surroundings, and locked it up with an iron bar door Galántai takes out insurance on the chapel at the State Insurance Company in Fonyód. He makes plans for the further renovation of the chapel, prepares the ground-plan and section plan, as well as the plan of the interior of the chapel.

[chapel project] [context 1968]

25 February 1968 - The body of representatives to the Roman Catholic parish church of Balatonboglár sign the lease contract, which pastor Jenő Czövek submits to the diocese authority of Veszprém for confirmation.
"The Roman Catholic parish church of Balatonboglár lets its property, the desolate, execrated, old churchyard chapel with ruined interior to lessee artist György Galántai for art purposes, for 15 years. […] The lessee undertakes to protect and impede the chapel from further being perished or destroyed. Furthermore, he undertakes the reconstruction of the interior of the chapel at a high level, that is, having it reshaped, painted, and put doors and windows in where they are lacking. […] As the contract imposes a burden on the lessee exclusively, it can be canceled by him solely. […]"

15 March 1968 - The diocese authority of Veszprém county confirm the lease contract.
"I am glad to let you know that the diocese authority of Veszprém county have confirmed the contract. [...] I am happy that they have. Someone has turned up with the same intention currently but I told her that we had entered into a contract with you and that she should find another chapel to contract with." (J. Cz.)

April - July 1968 - Galántai obtains tools for the reconstruction work. He has the replacement window-panes and the new wooden entrance door transported from Budapest by rail. He has the leaking roof mended. For the wall of the chapel, he has a memorial tablet made which informs the visitor about the former and the future - art - function of the chapel in four languages.

[chapel project] [context 1969]

June-July 1969 - Pastor Jenő Czövek informs Galántai in his letter that the chapel has been vandalized: "Please, let me know about your plans because you have not told me about them for a long time. Everything has been broken open again, as well as my fence which we had already mended twice. It is a disaster, we are really fed up with it. And we do not receive any help."
The burglars took the tools from the chapel, ruined the wire netting prepared for the windows, and broke open the crypt’s blocked up door. Galántai reports the burglary, culprit unknown, to the Balatonboglár police, and reports the damage to the insurance company in Fonyód.

(English translation by Ágnes Ivacs)

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