Culture Minister Vlad Alexandrescu on Monday officially declared open a national public fundraiser to purchase Constantin Brancusi’s “Wisdom of the Earth” sculpture, saying that he was the first to donate.
“As the culture minister and the one to sign the opening of the accounts, I have made a symbolic deposit of 100 euros,” Alexandrescu told a news conference on Monday.
He added that further information about the fundraiser is posted on the cuminteniapamantului.ro website.
He said the donations by legal entities will be deductible spending that differ from sponsorships. Free lancers will also have the donations deducted from the income tax due.
The RON and USD-denominated accounts already mentioned on the website of the Culture Ministry have been opened with BCR, BRD Societe Generale, UniCredit Bank, Banca Transilvania, CEC Bank and Raiffeisen Bank.
Alexandrescu also said that late this April he will start off a national PR campaign to advertise the fundraiser.
“For the time being, we are working on selecting the companies that will work for us pro bono, without any gain. This is a national endeavour, a fundraising effort on the part of all interested donors. There is no gain on the part of anyone wanting to help. Anyone wanting help us is free to do it, without any material gain, just pro bono, because they should be driven by the same ideal that we share ourselves because we want the sculpture to stay in the public heritage,” the minister added.
He mentioned that other mechanisms are also being considered to seek donors. “We will consider, for instance, the possibility of telethons, fundraising through short messages, but we have to make sure first of all that all the donors can be identified; on the other hand, it is very important for nobody conducting the intermediary mechanisms between the citizens and these bank accounts to benefit in any way,” said Alexandrescu.
He voiced trust that the necessary funds will be raised within the deadline set to this end.
“I believe the funds will be raised much sooner than September 30. I believe the funds will indeed be raised,” he said.
On March 16, the Government publicly announced it intends to buy “Wisdom of the Earth,” one of the defining works by Romanian-born sculptor Constantin Brancusi, by a joint endeavour of the Government and Romanians.
The public fundraiser is expected to get 6 million euros to be added to 5 million euros already earmarked by the Government for the purchase of the sculpture.