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April 19, 2021

Controversial statue of Trajan unveiled in front of National History Museum

Bucharest Mayor Sorin Oprescu unveiled on Sunday the statue of Emperor Trajan, several years after the project started. The statue is located on the stairs of the National History Museum. The statue was made by sculptor Vasile Gorduz and shows a naked Trajan holding a wolf featuring the traits of the Dacian battle standard. The statue has sparked controversies, the aspects questioned being the emperor’s nakedness and the shape of the wolf levitating above the emperor’s arms. The statue was made at the City Hall’s initiative and at the recommendation of Romanian Academy member Razvan Theodorescu. Its emplacement on the Victoriei Boulevard is part of an ample operation to beautify public spaces, an operation that is part of the “Victoriei Boulevard – cultural route” programme, the City Hall informs. “From now on we will have on the steps of the National History Museum a symbol of our nation. This metaphor represents the longest reigning Roman emperor, the most loved Roman Emperor, Optimus Princeps, which means ‘the best leader,’” Theodorescu explained. Ernest Oberlander Tarnoveanu, the director of the History Museum, has a different opinion, stating on April 11 that the statue “won’t stay there for long.” Moreover, the museum director stated that the “sculpture is controversial.” “Some consider it monstrous, some ridiculous,” Tarnoveanu stated, adding that “it’s very difficult to bring everyone to a common denominator when it comes to contemporary art.” Although it was placed on the museum’s steps last November, the statue was unveiled last Sunday.

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