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March 23, 2023

Gov’t has passed emergency ordinance to purchase Wisdom of the Earth

The Romanian Government on Wednesday approved an emergency ordinance allowing it to purchase Constantin Brancusi’s sculpture “Cumintenia Pamantului” (Wisdom of the Earth) for display in public collections, governmental spokesman Liviu Iolu said Wednesday.

“At today’s meeting, the Government passed an emergency ordinance under which the Wisdom of the Earth sculpture will be purchased by the Romanian Government to be displayed in public collections, as it has secured the legislative measures to provide the necessary financial resources for the purchase. So, the Executive has established in the emergency ordinance that the difference between the amounts raised at a public fundraiser for the purchase and the lei equivalent of 6 million euros will be provided from the national budget via the Culture Ministry,” said Iolu.

He added that Brancusi’s work will stay in the public circuit and it will soon be housed with a Bucharest museum.

He said that the mechanism for the earmarking of the funds for the purchase will be set under a decision of the government.

“There is no mechanism in place yet. The Government has the money and the Culture Ministry will be able to purchase the work of art,” Iolu explained.

Asked whether or not the money will earmarked at a budget revision, Iolu said not necessarily. “There could already be money with the Culture Ministry’s budget (…). Five million euros have been allocated and 6 million more will have to be provided within the deadline, namely end-November,” added Iolu, saying that the deadline was agreed upon with the sellers.

The spokesman added that the Government deems the work a piece of national treasury and cultural heritage that must belong to the Romanian Government and be displayed for the public to see it.

Part of the ‘Brancusi is mine also’ public fundraiser for the purchase of the sculpture, 1,200,000 euros were raised as of September 30, 800,000 euros of which came in the last two and a half months alone, said Iolu.

He said the fundraiser was a success, and the money raised will be contributed toward the final purchase of the Brancusi’s work of art.

Also under the emergency ordinance passed on Wednesday, the government agreed on the establishment of a ‘Brancusi Fund,’ which resources will be used for the purchase of contemporary art works deemed of the national treasury and cultural heritage.

“The ‘Brancusi Fund’ encourages the involvement of the society in supporting culture, while laying the foundations for a future strategy for the purchase of art works by the Romanian Government. The fund will be managed by the National Cultural Heritage Administration operating under the authority of the Culture Ministry, with revenues to be collected from donations, sponsorships and earmarks from the national budget. We are counting on fact that the campaign for the purchase of the ‘Wisdom of the Earth’ has worked up an appetite for arts donations and the fund will meet such need,” said Iolu.

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