MP Sebastian Ghita and the leader of the United Romania Party (PRU) Bogdan Diaconu filed a criminal denunciation to DNA against PM Dacian Ciolos on Friday. The two PRU representatives accuse the head of the Government of abuse of office regarding the purchase of the artwork called Wisdom of the Earth.
MP Sebastian Ghita wasn’t allowed to enter in the DNA’s headquarter on Friday morning to submit the complaint against Dacian Ciolos together with PRU President Bogdan Diaconu, because he didn’t have his ID, judicial sources stated for News.ro.
Besides, Ghita didn’t sign the complaint; it was submitted on behalf of the United Romania Party, by the President of the party.
The sources stated that the complaint refers to alleged abuses related to the approval of the GEO no.10/2016 on establishing the necessary actions to ensure financial resources in order to purchase a good belonging to the mobile national cultural heritage classified in the category “the treasure of the mobile national cultural heritage”, as well as of the GEO no.19/2016 on completing the GEO no.10/2016.
Prosecutors will check if the sized deeds are offenses in DNA’s competence, the complaint being sent to the Department of Fight against the Assimilated Offenses to the Corruption Offenses, according to the same sources.
“We came to submit a criminal denunciation on behalf of the United Romania Party against PM Dacian Julien Ciolos for the offense of abuse of office, fraud, in the case called Wisdom of the Earth. We know that assessments have been made by experts who first said 800,000, then 1,200,000, then 2 million, 3 million, and the last assessment was of 5 million (EUR – e.n.). Well, the Ciolos Government has spent EUR 11 million from the Romanians’ money for an artwork that was anyway in the national heritage and couldn’t be taken out of the country”, stated Bogdan Diaconu, PRU President, on Friday morning, before entering into the DNA building.
In his turn, MP Sebastian Ghita , who is a PRU member, claimed that the purchase of the artwork “Wisdom of the Earth” with public money, either EUR 5 million or EUR 11 million, “can be the start of a new ANRP” (e.n. – The National Agency for Property Restitution).
“First of all, DNA prosecutors have to prove to all the Romanian people, as they claim, that they are fair and unbiased, and that they are not good for some of us and bad for others. And I believe that first of all they have to start investigations on this mega-fraud of today which can turn into a new ANRP”, Sebastian Ghita also said.
Sebastian Ghita added that, according to the notes issued by the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI), Brancusi’s artwork cannot be purchased with public money.
“I want to say that I have accurate information, you’ve also heard Victor Ponta saying this. I have accurate information that this artwork was assessed several times, and the notes sent by SRI to the Romanian Government have stated very clear the status of this artwork and that it cannot be purchased with public money, especially because it is going to be purchased with EUR 5 million or EUR 11 million. (…) In the same way in which we could see the robbing of Romanians with the Property Fund and with the restitution of the buildings and lands, we will see restitutions, purchases of artworks at overstated prices. But we cannot afford this with the money we have in Romania”, Sebastian Ghita stated.
Ciolos’s reply to the denunciation: I wish them all the best
PM Dacian Ciolos has offered on Friday a reply regarding the denunciation filed by the PRU MPs Sebastian Ghita and Bogdan Diaconu to the DNA headquarters, related to the purchase of the statue “Wisdom of the Earth” made by Constantin Brancusi.
Asked about the approach of the PRU members, Ciolos replied laconically: “I wish them all the best!” according to Agerpres.
Ponta: The purchase of the “Wisdom of the Earth” by the Romanian state, a totally populistic, illegal and even criminal approach of the Government to unduly pay a plus of EUR 6 million
“I’ve supported from the beginning the purchase by the Romanian State of the Brancusi’s artwork ‘Wisdom of the Earth’. But I’m not supporting in any way the totally populistic, electoral, illegal (and even criminal) approach of the ‘Technocrat’ Government to pay ‘on the sly’ a plus of EUR 6 million”, wrote Victor Ponta on Facebook at the end of August.
“Since I know the case very well, I can present the arguments:
- After 1989, Romania has lost almost all the artworks created by Brncusi, excepting those who couldn’t be physically taken – namely only the ‘Brancusi’ Complex from Targu Jiu (The Column, the Table and The Gate). Everything was done by the effect of the Law no.247/2005 (also called “The Monica Macovei Law”) regarding a full restitution which no other communist country has done, excepting us;
- ‘Wisdom of the Earth’ was restituted to 2 French ladies who are supposed to be ‘heir’, by a totally unreasonable and illegal decision of the Court – because the certain proof of the payment performed by the Romanian State t the former owner as a compensation was filed in the file, since it wasn’t a confiscation (for this reason, State won at the first Court, but in the appeal, the desired ‘solution’ has been found)!
- After a long and very serious process of analysis, the clear assessment came on the table of the Government I was leading – maximum EUR 5 million (most of which will unfortunately go to lawyers and intermediary companies, and the rest of them will go in France)!
- The maximum price of ERU 5 million is a fair one for two reasons – the inappropriate preservation degree of the work, and especially the legal regime which DOES NOT ALLOW the work to be taken out of the country.
In more clear terms: this sculpture CANNOT be legally taken out of Romania – so we’re not talking about its value in New York or in London, because it CANNOT be sold there. We’re talking about its value in Romania – the highest private offer in Romania was USD 1 million (from the late Dinu Patriciu)!
- When the ‘Ciolos’ Government decided to sign the contract, I thought that it will do it in good faith and for the right amount. Later, I saw that I was actually wrong, as well as others.
- Many people asked me why the Government didn’t pay EUR 11 million, and that’s it? Let me explain you something – somebody told Ciolos that if he directly pays more than EUR 5 million, he and his ministers will have to justify themselves before DNA and the Justice (not now, when they are protected, but 2, 3 or 4 years since now, when things will change). That’s how they found the trick with ‘the public donation’ – finally, the money will be paid also from the budget (the donations cannot cover even EUR 1 million), and they think that they’re covered.
- The so-called campaign for promoting the donations has quickly turned into an electoral campaign for promoting the ‘Technocrats’ – look at the good things they do, let them stay in 2017, too. It’s not an accident that Mr. Felix Tataru is handling this – he is a traditional responsible for the PDL / Basescu / Iohannis campaigns;
- However, the money will be paid from the budget – namely from taxes and fees. So if you intend to donate for the ‘Wisdom of the Earth’, you have to know that you will actually pay to get back what belonged to us by the law, you will pay some ‘heirs’ living in France, lawyers and art intermediary companies, and especially the ‘technocrats’ who do not wish anything, but they ‘sacrifice’ themselves to stay governing!
In Romanian words – without Brancusi and without money! Bad luck”, Victor Ponta concludes.
The history of the Wisdom of the Earth
“Wisdom of the Earth” was made in 1907 and it was exhibited for the first time in Bucharest, in 1910. In 1911, Constantin Brancusi sold the sculpture to the engineer Gheorghe Romascu.
In 1957, the communist regime from Bucharest abusively confiscated the artwork to him, and thus it has been exhibited for the following decades, at the National Museum of Art of Romania. In 2012, Gheorghe Romascu’s heirs received the sculpture back, following a restitution trial.
The sculpture “Wisdom of the Earth” made by Constantin Brancusi, was assessed in September, 2014 to EUR 20 million. The Culture Ministry was invited to exercise its preemption right.
The owners of the sculpture “Wisdom of the Earth” , Paula Ionescu and Alina Serbanescu accepted in March, 2015, the amount of EUR 11 million for the work, and the term of October 31, which has been recently prolonged for November 30, to receive the money which the Romanian state has decided to pay for the Constantin Brancusi’s work.
The Romanian Government proposed that the purchase of the Constantin Brancusi’s artwork should be performed by a joint effort of the Romanian state and of the people: the amount of EUR 5 million was allocated by the Government, and it was necessary for EUR 6 million to be collected through the voluntary contributions of the individuals and legal entities.
More than 100,000 donators have participated to the national subscription campaign “Brancusi is mine”, meant to support the purchase of the sculpture “Wisdom of the Earth” by the Romanian State; the amount gathered until September 30, namely the day when the accounts opened at several banks for donations have been closed, was EUR 1,163,032.
The sculpture “Wisdom of the Earth” was exhibited at the National Museum of Art of Romania (MNAR) until November, 2012, when it was moved to the Cotroceni Museum. Today, the artwork is exhibited at the National Bank Museum.