A huge scandal has erupted between the heirs of Anca Petrescu (photo), the architect who designed the Palace of Parliament, and Lower Chamber Speaker Valeriu Zgonea. The latter has been asked to stop using the Palace of Parliament’s image for advertisement purposes. The heirs own the copyright and threaten Zgonea that unless a settlement is reached they will sue the Lower Chamber.
Anca Petrescu’s heirs and Valeriu Zgonea have to reach a settlement by February 15. The members of the late architect’s family want the signing of a contract that would establish that they have to be paid 1 per cent of the revenues obtained by selling objects imprinted with the Palace of Parliament’s image.
Anca Petrescu’s heirs claim that they own the copyright, a copyright that has been disregarded so far. They claim nobody consulted them about the sale of such objects.
On the other hand, Valeriu Zgonea claims that he tried to solve this problem on several occasions. This is a situation not seen anywhere else in the world.
“A building for which Romanians contributed for years does not belong to the Romanian state, but to a physical person. Parliament’s image was trademarked and belongs to a physical person and her heirs because the Romanian state, at this moment, has a problem that it hasn’t solved in a very long time. If you want to take a picture with the Romanian Parliament then the family will sue you and you have to pay them copyright. We are talking about the architecture firm of former Lower Chamber lawmaker Anca Petrescu. These are issues I’ve raised in various meetings and that never stuck as they should have. We are the only Parliament in Europe and the world that cannot sell memorabilia without the consent of the person that owns this,” Valeriu Zgonea stated for DC News.
If a settlement is not reached, Anca Petrescu’s heirs threaten to sue the Lower Chamber.
In June 2013, architect Anca Petrescu registered with the State Office for Inventions and Trademarks (OSIM) an individual trademark whose distinctive visual element is a picture of the Palace of Parliament building. Therefore, only she is able to sell memorabilia imprinted with the image of the Palace of Parliament.