19 MAR 2011
By Martin Banks | The Parliament
A parliamentary committee has approved the release of EU funds for work to start on a 'House of European history' museum in Brussels.
The decision was immediately condemned by eurosceptics as a waste of money.
According to a breakdown of the costs - seen by this website - about €31m will go on renovations and restructuring to the building in question; €21.5m equipping rooms and permanent exhibits and a further €3m for collecting objects.
This estimate does not include the costs of employing 18 member of staff or the new annual running costs of €13.5m, said to be "way above" what was originally estimated.
The budget committee's decision to approve funding for the museum was condemned by UKIP MEP Marta Andreasen, a former EU chief accountant and member of the budget committee.
She said, "It defies both belief and logic that in this age of austerity MEPs have approved the vast sums of money to fund this grossly narcissistic project.
"The museum will highlight EU history since the original coal and steel community was formed decades ago. It is a ludicrous proposition and I am obviously completely against it. I had appealed for common sense and fiscal decency to prevail.
"European history is made up of many competing threads and if the EU now decides to write "the authorised version" it must follow that some strains will be distorted either by being over or under-represented."
She added, "Anyone can see that different nations have very different stories and narratives. Also, I cannot imagine that the Dutch, French and Irish referenda will be given prominence, despite their massive importance as an expression of identity and a statement on the direction of Europe.
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