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January 21, 2022

Criminal investigation on destruction charges in case involving Brancusi’s work

The police have opened a criminal investigation on destruction of property charges in the case of Constantin Brancusi’s works from the municipality of Targu Jiu that were washed last year using a high pressure water jet, which caused Poarta sarutului to turn yellow. A criminal investigation on destruction charges was initiated to analyze how the washing operation was conducted, Florin Rosca, spokesman for the Gorj County Police, stated, as cited by Mediafax.
Moreover, the Minister of Culture has suspended the protocol concluded with the Targu Jiu town hall to monitor the works of Constantin Brancusi exhibited in two of the town parks. Secretary of State Radu Boroianu stated Tuesday at a press conference in Targu Jiu that earlier that day he had informed Prime Minister Victor Ponta about the Ministry of Culture’s decision to suspend the protocol according to which the Targu Jiu town hall was involved in monitoring and maintaining Constantin Brancusi’s works in a good condition.
According to Boroianu, the National Commission for Historical Monuments, the Heritage Department of the Ministry of Culture, and the National Heritage Institute are obliged to monitor the respective works while the protocol is suspended. This decision, he continued, was made after the ‘Constantin Brancusi’ Municipal Culture Center in Targu Jiu failed to have an expert present during maintenance work carried out on Brancusi’s works, who could oversee the on-going operations. On the other hand, the Secretary of State underlined Constantin Brancusi’s works were not irreversibly affected by being washed with a high pressure water jet last year. Radu Boroianu was accompanied at the press conference by Joost Vander Auwera, chief curator at the Sculpture Department of the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Brussels. Auwera explained that the whitening of stone in several portions of the work was caused by mineral salts that were deposited after the works were washed using a high pressure water jet and pointed out water pressure was not a factor in creating large damage. He mentioned Romanian specialists will perform a careful analysis of the works in upcoming weeks, as all of Brancusi’s works exhibited in Targu Jiu need to be thoroughly monitored.

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