Constantin Brancusi’s sculpture ‘Wisdom of the Earth’ will be exhibited at the Museum of the National Bank of Romania (BNR) from 16 June to 8 July (free entrance from 10.00 to 18.00 Monday to Friday) and on the normal opening hours posted on BNR’s website, from 11 July.
The sculpture was transferred on Friday from the Cotroceni National Museum to make it accessible to the general public and thus promote the national crowdfunding to buy the sculpture for the Romanian state. According to a Government’s release issued on Friday for AGERPRES, the decision has been taken by the Ministry of Culture and the Executive together with the owners of the artwork.
The Cotroceni Museum formally returned on Friday the ‘Wisdom of the Earth’ to its rightful owners – the family of engineer Gheorghe Romascu, who bought it directly from his good friend Brancusi – following the termination of bailment. The work had been abusively taken by the Communist regime in 1957; the owners got their property rights restored in 2012, after a long lawsuit.
Insurer OMNIASIG covers the cost of the insurance policy for protecting the artwork until the end of the campaign.
“Following the termination of the bailment concluded between the Cotroceni National Museum, as the bailee, and Ms Paula Ionescu and Alina Serbanescu, as the bailors, having as object the loan for use of the sculpture ‘Wisdom of the Earth,’ today 10 June 10 2016, the work of great artist Constantin Brancusi has been handed over to its rightful owners, in accordance with the contract stipulations and the current legislation regarding the conservation norms of movable cultural goods,” reads a release of the museum.
In 1957, the communist regime abusively took the work from its owners, the family of engineer Gheorghe Romascu, who bought it directly from his good friend Brancusi. The Romanian state has exhibited the sculpture in the Museum of Art of Romania. In 2012, after a long lawsuit, the artwork was returned to Romascu’s heirs.
This spring, the owners of the ‘Wisdom of the Earth’ accepted to sell it to the Romanian Government for 11 million euros. The government announced it will contribute five million, and opened a crowdfunding for six million euros; by 30 May, it collected 138,188 euros.