Spread over 700 square metres, the permanent exhibition 'Cultural Contacts. Living in Europe' is the first ever display of a cross-section of all the museum's diverse collections. It examines discussions on social movements and social boundaries.
The mobility, physical and social, of people within Europe and to Europe sets off a chain of cultural interaction and intermingling that may give rise to the development of global cultures, while at the same time raising questions of belonging and the identity of individuals and whole groups. As a result of such globalization individuals may feel 'lost' and yearn for what is familiar to them: their home, their home town, a particular region or their country.
Do Europe's cultural commonalities play a role in this process? The permanent exhibition highlights a few examples of such shared cultural affinities - in part by way of some extraordinary objects. For instance, a luxurious gondola from Venice, dating from 1910, encapsulates several themes at once: trade, travel, visual media, migration, specific cultural localities and piety.
As of February 2017, visitors to the MEK can take advantage of a new, free educational offer. Every Sunday from 12:00 to 17:00 visitors have the opportunity to personally discuss the objects and exhibitions on show with the museum's Live Speakers, who are there to share their knowledge on the exhibitions' topics. The Live Speakers can react to the particular interests of each visitor and thus help make each exhibition visit an individual experience.