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February 4, 2023

Ministry of Culture seeks independent expert to attest “Cumintenia Pamantului”

Kelemen Hunor, dismissed on Thursday from his position as Culture Minister by the Head of the State, declared that the Ministry is seeking an independent expert in order to establish the authenticity of Brancusi’s work “Cumintenia Pamantului”, considering that the purchase of the work requires a huge some and it is one of the sculptor’s major works.
UDMR leader Kelemen Hunor declared that a new discussion between the inter-ministerial committee and the representatives of the owners of Brancusi’ work was scheduled on October 20.
“There were discussions of the inter-ministerial committee and the owners’ representatives and they established the next meeting on October 20. Now, we are looking for an independent expert, as it is a huge sum of money and an important work, and we need an independent expertise concerning the authenticity of the work. There is also an option that the second expertise, concerning an estimated price, would be made by the same expert. The owners demanded EUR 20 million, but the Romanian state is not forced to say yes and hand out this sum. We told them that we wanted to negotiate and to use our right of pre-emption”, Kelemen explained.
He outlined that, as a former minister and as an intellectual, he is fully aware of the necessity of purchasing the work “Cumintenia Pamantului”.
“I am sure that there will be a solution, because it is important that this work would remain in the public property of the Romanian state, if the owners decided to sell it. Considering all data at our disposal, including the fact that the sculpture is part of the national treasure and is prohibited to be transported abroad, I think no minister will sign for its sale to a foreign partner, not even temporarily, as we are talking about a highly fragile work. If we examine all these facts, I think we could reach a reasonable price, that could suit both the owners and the Romanian state”, Kelemen pointed out.
On his turn, President Traian Basescu declared last  Thursday that the Government should have solved the issue of purchasing Brancusi’ work “Cumintenia pamantului” by direct negotiation, paying it from the RON 2.4 million allocated to local budgets for campaigning.
“At this time, there is no culture minister and I think it was important for us to have one because, instead of going to Court and attack one verdict or another, it would have been much netter to solve the issue of “Cumintenia Pamantului”, which is presently at the Cotroceni Museum, by direct negotiation”, Traian Basescu declared on Thursday, after signing the decree that dismissed Kelemen Hunor from his position of Culture Minister.
The Head of the State added that the RON 80 million required for negotiations with the owners and the purchase of the work “Cumintenia Pamantului” meant nothing, compared to the “campaign money” of RON 2.4 million destined to local administrations.
Three weeks ago, PM Ponta had declared that, as a citizen, he wished justice was more efficient, as it represents a public service, and that it was more responsible of its mistakes showing that, at the time being, it is the only power in the state that is never held responsible for its mistakes. Ponta had pointed out on that occasion that a decision of justice determined the retrocession of Constantin Brancusi’s only work located in Romania despite of the fact the file contained all documents showing that it was purchased by the Romanian state.
Afterwards, Ponta announced that he had demanded the Justice Minister to notify the Supreme Council of Magistrates on the fact that a judge had issued a wrong verdict, in his opinion, in the case of Brancusi’s work “Cumintenia Pamantului”, claiming that the respective judge should be sanctioned for his mistake.

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