The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Thursday, August 22, 2019

Ceausescu auction points to lingering nostalgia among Romanians
A picture showing late dictator Nicolae Ceausescu (R) and Cuban leader Fidel Castro (L) during his visit to Romania is displayed at an auction house in Bucharest January 25, 2018. On January 31st, Artmark is organizing its 5th auction of Ceausescu property, including photos, rugs in the face of the "beloved son of the nation", clothing and gifts from foreign leaders.For many Romanians, "Ceausescu is the icon of a glorious past, a Romania whose memory has eliminated cold and hunger," said sociologist Vasile Dâncu. This nostalgia has increased in recent years, fueled by disenchantment with the current political class, he says. Daniel MIHAILESCU / AFP.

by Mihaela Rodina

BUCHAREST (AFP).- A trove of objects from the household of the former Romanian Communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu will go under the hammer on Wednesday in an auction drawing on the enduring fascination his memory holds amid the country's current political turmoil.

Rugs adorned with the face of the "nation's beloved son", gifts from other world leaders, as well as clothes and photos are some of the artefacts on offer.

"There is a clear interest in such objects," said Mihai Ipate from the auction house Artmark.

"Some buyers are motivated by nostalgia, others want to enrich their collection."

That nostalgia for the past and for the certainties of the past have been in evidence elsewhere in recent days.

The auction comes days after the 100th anniversary of Ceausescu's birth, a date which some Romanians felt moved to mark by gathering at his tomb.

"I came to do my patriotic duty and light a candle for him, because he is worthy of this," said 79-year-old retired driver Valerian, one of dozens who came to the site with flowers and candles.

"They shouldn't have killed him," he told AFP, glossing over the hardships of the Ceausescu era: "Everyone had work, an apartment, the freezers were full."

Rising to the leadership of Romania's Communist Party in 1965, Ceausescu went on to create what historians judge to be one of eastern Europe's harshest dictatorships.

He was overthrown after an uprising in December 1989 and executed three days later along with his wife Elena after a summary trial.

An elderly woman laying flowers at the tomb in Bucharest's Ghencea cemetery asks: "What dictator?! Are today's politicians able to do as much as him? Not at all, all they do is steal."

'Icon of a glorious past'
Large crowds have taken to the streets in recent weeks to protest against proposed judicial reforms that critics say would make prosecuting graft more difficult in Romania, considered one of the EU's most corrupt states.

For many Romanians, "Ceausescu is the icon of a glorious past, of a Romania where the memory of cold and the hunger have been erased," sociologist Vasile Dancu told AFP.

This nostalgia had only increased in the face of rising disenchantment with the political class, he added.

"Ceausescu stills haunts the minds of those who grew up before 1989. The nationalist-communist discourse is still very present in political debate, while the former leader seems to have become acceptable, worthy of respect, a great patriot," says historian Armand Gosu.

But in other ways his legacy still blights the lives of many.

Mr Gosu points to towns "disfigured" by the old regime's economic policies and Ceausescu's "illogical decisions".

'Disgusting' spectacle
Those targeted by the regime's apparatus of repression are even more unforgiving.
"Ceausescu established a personal dictatorship and his regime was based on terror," 62-year-old Radu Filipescu said bitterly.

He was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 1983 for distributing leaflets calling on Romanians to take to the streets against the regime.

Filipescu remembers the cult of personality around Ceausescu, which transformed his birthday into what he calls a "disgusting" spectacle.

Nevertheless curiosity continues to surround the Ceausescu era.

The enormous palace constructed on his orders in central Bucharest is home to the country's parliament and one of its most popular tourist attractions, with 210,000 tickets sold last year.

His former residence, the Palatul Primaverii (Spring Palace), has been open to the public for almost two years and saw 36,000 visitors in 2017.

© Agence France-Presse

Today's News

February 1, 2018

Major exhibition features artistic masterpieces from the glorious Church of the Gesù

Rubin Museum exhibition highlights the magical legends of Buddhist master Padmasambhav

The Speed Art Museum and Italian Ministry reach loan agreement on ancient calyx-krater

Louisiana Museum of Modern Art opens exhibition of ceramic works by Pablo Picasso

Tilton Gallery opens exhibition of works by Martha Tuttle

LiveAuctioneers joins Codex Consortium; blockchain protocol set to revolutionize auction marketplace

Ritz Paris, 120 years of history at auction

Howard Greenberg Gallery opens exhibition of Steve Kahn’s The Hollywood Suites

The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum FIU appoints Amy Galpin as new Chief Curator

Dufy tops results at Freeman's European Art & Old Masters auction

Ronchini Gallery opens the first UK solo exhibition of Japanese artist Katsumi Nakai

The Fine Art Society exhibits etchings and lithographs by the British-American artist Gerald Brockhurst RA

Janet Borden Inc. opens Amusement Park by Ddavid Brandon Geeting

Georgia O'Keeffe Museum introduces Curator of Digital Experience

Saâdane Afif invites the public to compose their own interpretation of his work in exhibition at WIELS

BAMPFA mounts major solo exhibition of work by Theresa Hak Kyung Cha

Goucher College's Silber Art Gallery presents "Jim Condron: Diminishing Returns"

Blown to bits, famed Syria temple falls victim to Turkey assault

Ceausescu auction points to lingering nostalgia among Romanians

Timothy Taylor opens exhibition of works by Jean Dubuffet, Simon Hantaï and Charlotte Perriand

Exhibition at arebyte Gallery brings together the work of 10 artists from London

Gouri, Israeli poet-warrior and national icon, dies at 94

The June Kelly Gallery opens exhibition of Abstract Expressionist paintings by Stan Brodsky

Solo exhibition by Ala Younis held simultaneously in London and Dubai

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Conservation reveals Wellington Collection work was painted by Titian's Workshop

2.- New dinosaur discovered after lying misidentified in university's vaults for over 30 years

3.- Unseen Texas Chainsaw Massacre outtakes and stills sold for a combined $26,880

4.- National gallery reveals conserved Italian altarpiece by Giovanni Martini da Udine

5.- London's Tate Modern evacuated after child falls, teen arrested

6.- Bavarian State Minister of the Arts restitutes nine works of art

7.- Boy thrown from London's Tate Modern is French tourist visiting UK

8.- Child thrown from London gallery has broken spine, legs and arm

9.- £10 million Turner masterpiece may leave British shores

10.- Tourists banned from sitting on Rome's Spanish Steps

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful