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February 25, 2021

New statue of King Carol I unveiled

After sixty years, the statue of Romania’s King Carol I has returned to its original location, in a ceremony on Monday evening.

Mayor Sorin Oprescu has inaugurated the equestrian statue that will from now on tower over the Palace Square in Bucharest. The event was attended by members of the Royal Family, Princess Margareta, Prince Radu, who read a message from King Mihai I. Other cultural and political figures were invited at the ceremony, among them, former presidents Ion Iliescu and Emil Constantinescu, former PM Calin Popescu Tariceanu and former Minister of Culture Razvan Theodorescu. Placed in the area between the Central University Library and the Royal Palace in downtown Bucharest, the seven meter high statue is made entirely out of bronze and hangs upon a six meter high granite pedestal. It was made by artist Florin Codre, on the initial statue’s design (sculpted by Ivan Mestrovici in 1939 and melt down by the Communists in 1948).

The original statue was inaugurated on May 10, 1939 in the same location. The event was then attended by Carol II , the nephew and heir of Carol I to the Romanian throne.

The bronze monument was destroyed in 1948 and the melted bronze was used to build a statue of Lenin. In 2006, the year that marked 140 years since Carol I started his reign and 125 years since proclaiming Romania a kingdom, the idea of rebuilding the statue following closely the initial design, was initiated. The Capital administration has supported all costs of the monument, which amounted to EUR 3 M. Carol I , born Prince Karl of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, was reigning prince and then king of Romania from 1866 to 1914; he was elected prince of Romania on April 20, 1866 following the overthrow of Alexandru Ioan Cuza by a palace coup. He was the first ruler of the Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen dynasty, which ruled the country until the proclamation of a republic in 1947.

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