PM Ponta gives up museums’ merger


The Prime Minister explained that it was not about closing Antipa Museum, but about making more room and higher possibility to benefit from EU funds through the Ministry of the Environment.

After the media scandal about merging certain museums in the capital city, Victor Ponta takes a step back. The Prime Minister said on Wednesday night at Romania TV channel that the intention regarding Antipa Museum was to create a legal background allowing the expansion of its activity on the ground of Romanian Peasant Museum and attracting EU funds through the Ministry of the Environment, adding though that he gave up the idea to avoid new misunderstandings and scandals. He claimed that he explained this plan to President Traian Basescu as well, who understood the advantages in developing Antipa Museum. “He asked me why I had not said that from the start..I asked him why he jumps with comments without asking me first to understand what was all about,” said Ponta, quoted by Mediafax. The prime minister said that, probably once the political argues are over, the directors of the two museums will meet and discuss this option to a better understanding.
PDL deputy Theodor Paleologu told RFI yesterday that he is “extremely” glad that Ponta gave up the “totally idiotic” project to merge the Romanian Peasant Museum with the Village Museum. “I am extremely glad he gave up the idea. I have not made a public attack on this topic, although I had known about this project even before the whole thing started. I had rather talk to Victor Ponta directly about this matter, I do not want to say anything about these discussions. (…) I will not make a public scandal together with the others unless I see this totally idiotic project continues. But I believe he gave it up, because it makes absolutely no sense to wage another public war on such a matter,” said the PDL deputy. In his opinion, the idea to merge the two museums “is a huge folly,” adding that “there are two totally different visions and museum languages.” Paleologu says he will take part in street protests if the merger takes place though. “If something happens we will go out in the street protesting and defending the Romanian Peasant Museum! This is very clear, this is a matter which asks for a street protest, along with Rosia Montana, the shale gas, the thieves’ amnesty, the bribe law, this is another reason for a street protest,!” concluded the Minister of Culture.
Yesterday, the Romanian Peasant Museum announced in a press release that they express their gratitude to all their friends and supporters who understood to stand by them “in a difficult moment in the life of this institution essential for the Romanian culture.” “We hope the danger of closing the Romanian Peasant Museum was waved away and we want to thank Minister Gigel Sorinel Stirbu for his unconditional support granted to our institution and implicitly to the Romanian culture,” reads the quoted release.
The whole scandal about this matter started from an open letter sent by director of the Romanian Peasant Museum (MTR) Virgil Nitulescu on Tuesday to PM Victor Ponta revealing a Government resolution draft ruling that the National Natural History Museum “Grigore Antipa” would pass to the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change and the building hosting MTR would fall under the administration of Antipa Museum.
National Natural History Museum “Grigore Antipa” in Bucharest reopened in September 2011, after having been closed for renovation and the update of its permanent exhibition in January 2009. The building hosting Antipa Museum was consolidated and restored between 1995 and 2005, and the exhibition was remade in 2000. The update of the permanent exhibition of Antipa Museum started in February 2009, and the institution was closed for the public.

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