The eastern Romanian city of Galati has new museum.
In a world that seems to feed us
only bad news, building a new art museum, such as the Visual Arts Museum in the
eastern city of Galati, seems to fall in the 'too good to be true' category of
news. And yet the new museum is being built, in Rizer Park. It is financed by
the Galati County Council, for a sum of 4.7 million Euro, over a surface of
almost 4,000 sq, based on an architecture project that got a national award
from the Order of Architects.
We spoke to Dan Basarab Nanu, the manager
of the museum, about this exceptional success in September last year:
"This is the creation of architect
Dan Ujeuca, and it impressed the head of the County Council, who made every
effort to make this project happen, and to be present at the inauguration. By
contract, the deadline is two years. We will finally see the Visual Arts
Museum's patrimony put to good use."
The initial museum was inaugurated
in 1967 with the intention of having a venue that is up to date with fine arts
in Romania. It was relocated in three separate buildings, after the initial
venue was returned to its previous owners. The exhibition space became unable
to properly fit the exhibits, and after 2013 the authorities decided they would
finance the museum themselves. European funds were not available, because the
project was deemed ineligible.
The years in-between were not idle.
Dan Basarab Nanu reminisces about this time:
"We had very serious and ample
cultural missions. I think we went through half of Europe with the museum, to
France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, Hungary, and the
Czech Republic. The latest great victory was that of a few years ago, when we
went to the French Artist Salon with Cela Neamtu, Marin Gherasim, Cristian
Bedivan, and Gheorghe Anghel. Cela Neamtu got the gold medal, Bedivan and Marin
Gherasim got the silver medal, and Gheorghe Anghel became a corresponding
member of the French Academy of the Arts. The Galati Visual Arts Museum got a
medal from the Society of French Artists."
In spite of all challenges, the
present is a time for even more ambitious hopes and ideas. The new four-story
building will have ample space for exhibitions, but also laboratories, storage,
technical spaces, a library, an archive, and an amphitheatre. Here is Dan
Basarab Nanu with explanations:
"This is a living museum, it lives
by its ability to host everything visual. When I say visual, I obviously refer
to fine arts, but also choreography, the visual of music, the visual of the
word. I am referring to a whole range of manifestations that exist under this
word, visual, which in the end lead to more generous ideas, such as culture,
beauty, and life."
We asked what the structure of the
Galati Visual Art Museum will be. If all goes well, the building will have an
itinerant exhibition space with modular spaces, and a permanent exhibition
area, with famous late 19th-century works. Another area will be
dedicated to contemporary Romanian works, from 1956 to 2018. If the museum is
inaugurated in 2020, according to the plan, it will also host Romanian works
from 2019 and 2020, in line with its profile, that of being up to date with
everything that goes on in the visual arts in Romania, including the diaspora,
according to the manager.