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May 16, 2021

Deputies’ Chamber: Ordinances on purchasing “Wisdom of the Earth” rejected; donors can recoup their money

The Deputies’ Chamber rejected on Tuesday the Government Emergency Ordinances No.10/2016 and No.19/2016 regarding the purchase of Constantin Brancusi’s sculpture titled “Wisdom of the Earth,” but adopted, though, an amendment which allows people who made donations to recover their money.

The amendment to the Ordinance No.10/2016 stipulates that the judicial effects produced by it, during the enforcement period, are to be maintained, and as a result, those who made donations for purchasing the artwork can recover their money.

Therefore, the deputies rejected, with 201 votes “in favor,” 31 “against” and 61 abstentions, the GEO No. 10/2016 regarding the establishment of necessary measures in order to ensure financial resources for the purchase of an asset belonging to the mobile national cultural heritage, classified in the “Thesaurus of the national mobile cultural heritage – ‘the Wisdom of the Earth’.” The GEO No.19/2016 for its addition was also rejected with 2015 votes “in favor,” 32 “against” and 59 abstentions.

The GEO No.10/2016 regulated the necessary measures in order to ensure the financial resources for the purchase of the “Wisdom of the Earth,” and the GEO No.19/2016 also established other leverages for gathering donations (NGOs partnerships, collecting by using the short message services – SMS, online donations, etc.), as well as through different collaborations with legal persons of the private sector.

Deputy of the Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (UDMR) Marton Arpad mentioned, in the debates, that the ordinances have no use because their effects have no legal power, and, therefore, they must be rejected. “If we want to purchase new artworks in the public area of the state, we must have, annually, an amount in the state budget,” Marton Arpad stated.

Liberal Deputy and President of the Culture Committee Gigel Stirbu mentioned that everything started from a “commendable intention” to purchase the “Wisdom of the Earth” and said the this demarche must be continued.

The Deputies’ Chamber is the decision-making forum in this case.

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