The Romanian cultural heritage from abroad: what can be done to ensure its preservation?
Valahia University of Targoviste, 5-7 May 2022
In honorem proffesor Ioan Opris – annorum octoginta anniversario
While Romanian heritage within the country’s current borders benefits from the protection and support of the Romanian state, specialists, and civil society to some extent, albeit limited due to a number of legislative, administrative, social, and financial flaws and constraints, Romanian heritage outside the country is little known in the country and is largely exposed to the conditions and limited possibilities of Romanian communities living in neighboring countries and the local polity. In these circumstances, many monuments that have a patrimonial connection to Romanian communities or the Romanian state – in the case of territories detached from Romania as a result of the Hitler-Stalin Pact – face major preservation, conservation, and restoration challenges that locals and authorities in neighboring countries are unable to address due to the limited resources available to them. This conference serves two general goals that are mutually beneficial. On the one hand, it aims to contribute to the knowledge of this heritage in Romania, as well as at the European and international levels, and on the other, it seeks to find and identify the necessary resources to support the efforts of Romanian communities and states on whose territory it is located to preserve and pass on this important heritage that is part of the European common heritage.
The conference aims to investigate and debate the entire process responsible for the state of cultural heritage, beginning with research, conservation, restoration, legislation, preservation, European and national funding, public debate, the role of specialized bodies and civil society, national, regional, and local government attributes, and so on. We anticipate that the speakers will address these concerns from their areas of expertise, with an emphasis on solutions that will contribute to the long-term development of Romania’s built heritage.
Outside of Romania’s present political borders, Romanian communities have a diverse cultural heritage in areas such as:
1. Republic of Moldova
- The Herţa County
- The historical Maramureş
- South of Bessarabia
- Serbian Banat / Vojvodina
- Timoc Valley
- Timoc Valley
- Northern Bulgaria
- Southern Dobrogea (Cadrilater).
6. Other European regions
Monuments of civic, ecclesiastical, administrative, military, archaeological sites, cultural, aesthetic assets of moveable heritage and forms of intangible heritage are conserved in all of these territories. The state of this heritage is unknown: no comprehensive investigation has been conducted to familiarize oneself with the current situation and to establish a knowledge base that can be tracked in the future.
The last intervention in trying to save the heritage of the Romanians was in 1946 when the Romanian Royal Government asked the Soviet Government to dismantle and transport to Romania the wooden churches from Transcarpathian Ukraine (the churches from Lower Apa, Middle Apa, Slatina), with the argument that they belonged to ” the oldest religious and artistic monuments of the Romanians”. During the communist period, Romania lacked any policy regarding the heritage of Romanians outside its borders. After 1989, the policies of the Romanian state-focused especially on restoring the connections to the Romanian communities, supporting education in the Romanian language (schools, books, scholarships to educational institutions in Romania). The single attempt to recover the Romanian heritage from the lands that were once part of Greater Romania took place during the years 1998-2000, when the specialists of the Village Museum in Bucharest identified after a field research a monument of popular architecture in Crasna commune, Storojinet, Chernivtsi region, Ukraine. The museum management and the Romanian Ministry of Culture approved the transfer of a peasant house and its objects “to complete the open-air exhibition of the Village Museum, being the first acquisition of a peasant household outside the country”. This architectural monument was designed to cover “one of the white spots on the theme of the outdoor exhibition – the northern Bucovina area”.
The conference will be a great occasion for launching discussions for preparing a cross-border projects on the heritage of Romanians living outside the borders that can be further exploited by organizing information centres and, eventually, preserving this heritage. It would be most desirable that the cross border projects be vibrant, aiming at the salvation of this heritage in all forms: research, digitalization, conservation-restoration and capitalization. The raising of the profile of this heritage cannot be cloistered but has to be achieved only concerning the national and the local heritage in which it was created and developed.
The Conference Schedule and Deadlines
• Publication of the call for papers: 20 January 2022
• Proposals for panels, roundtables, and individual papers: 28 February 2022
• Notification of acceptance: 15 March 2022
• Publication of the conference program and abstracts: 16 March 2022
• Deadline for submitting the conference articles: 1 September 2022
• Publication of conference articles: May 2023.
Conference venue: International Conference Center of Valahia University of Targoviste, Maior Ion Alexandrescu St., no. 39 130021, Targoviste, Dambovita
Official languages: English, Romanian
Register here: https://forms.gle/B5z55rHwNQGLNBrc8