A photo-documentary exhibition dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the Revolution, which comprises 40 panels with images from the events of December ’89 of the AGERPRES Photographic Archive, is presented by the National News Agency at the National Museum of Art of Romania (MNAR).
Among the moments of those moments’ reality, captured by the agency’s photographers, are scenes with the events in Timisoara, the taking over of power by the crowd populating the place that would later be called Revolution Square and the flight of the Ceausescu family by helicopter.
The AGERPRES exhibition comes to complete the one put together by the MNAR, which consists of a series of panels that show the huge losses that were suffered by the building of the former Royal Palace, as well as part of the works in the patrimony of the National Museum of Art, following the events of that end of year.
“AGERPRES contributes to maintaining alive the national memory through the photographic exhibitions that we create to mark this great event. The images are true testimonies, and we are aware that we now enjoy freedom due to the sacrifice of Romanians in the 1989 Revolution. It’s our way to bow our head with respect and appreciation towards them and the greatness of that historical moment,” said the AGERPRES General Director, Claudia Nicolae.
As part of the MNAR exhibition, impressive images, some of them published for the first time, show the building on fire, with the exterior walls destroyed and works of art shot, torn or cracked.
In parallel with the images of the works gravely affected, photographs with the same works of art after restoration are exhibited, a testimony of the professionalism of the restorers who worked to give back to the public these exhibits of inestimable value.
“Through this exhibition, we wanted to make known the effort deployed to save, keep and restore both the building of the former Royal Palace, as well as the MNAR patrimony. It was a huge amount of work, taking place both during the events of the Revolution, when the employees reacted promptly to save the works they took to warehouses, as well as in the period afterwards, when there was intense work to be able to reopen the museum. We are happy that now, 30 years from the events of December ’89, the Palace is fully restored and put back in the public circuit, and much of the ‘suffering’ of the works of art are visible only to the trained eye of the professional restorer,” said the interim manager of the museum, architect Liviu Constantinescu.
MNAR was situated, in December 1989, in the Stirbei Voda wing of the former Royal Palace. In January 1990, the museum received in administration the entire building, damaged around 90 percent during the Revolution. The fire started then also took over the painting laboratory, which led to the destruction of the works of art that were in the room, while tens of other works were gravely affected and required ample restoration, taking place in the museum’s specialty laboratories, as well as with the aid of specialists in the country and from the Netherlands, the USA, France, and Italy.
For a decade, the museum remained closed for ample renovation and refurbishment works, interval in which, in order to capitalize on its patrimony, it organized only temporary exhibitions, both at its headquarters and abroad.
Starting with May 2000, the galleries of the museum were reopened, starting with the European Art Gallery, then the Romanian Modern Art Gallery (March 2001), and the Romanian Old Art Gallery (April 2002).
The panels with AGERPRES photographs are exhibited on the fence that surrounds the National Museum of Art of Romania, the former Royal Palace.
Photo credit: Agerpres/Silviu Matei