Interesting article from Atlas Obscura: As the Local reports, an anonymous donor has given one million francs—about 1,080,000 American dollars—to renovate the Anna Göldi Museum. The museum, which is located in Ennenda, Switzerland, is focused on human rights and women’s rights, topics it explores through the story of the wrongful execution of Anna Göldi, known as “the last witch in Europe.” It’s currently only open in the summers, but will use the money to operate year-round.
Göldi was tortured until she admitted to colluding with the devil. She later retracted that confession, but after she was tortured again, she re-confessed. She was found guilty, and in 1782, she was beheaded in the public square. This execution caused a backlash in her time as well: “Educated people [in Switzerland] did not believe in witchcraft in 1782,” Hauser said.
There is also the museum, which first opened in early 2017, and moved to a new location—a historic textile building—that same summer. The large donation will fund the building’s heating and insulation, as well as the construction of a new staircase that will enable easier access.
“With this investment, we can open the museum all year long,” says museum board member Maggie Wandfluh. It’s too little, too late for Göldi—but, perhaps, just in time for the rest of us.