Those who will pass on Schitu Mărgineanu Boulevard in the Capital, when they reach the intersection with St. Constantin Street, will be greeted by the smile of Pope Francis. In the Square here, which will bear the name of Pope Francis – as announced by Mons. Miguel Maury Buendia, Apostolic Nuncio to Romania – on the afternoon of Tuesday, June 16, 2020, the monument dedicated to the Argentine pontiff who visited our country a year ago was unveiled and blessed: a bronze bust, on a stone pedestal.
The bust is the work of sculptor Darie Dup, a university professor at the National Univ
ersity of Arts in Bucharest and a doctor of Visual Arts, who sculpted the Holy Father with a smile on his face. “Pope Francis is a man with a lot of humor and I wanted to achieve this – said the artist, at the end of the unveiling ceremony of the monument. The resemblance is easily obtained, but the condition inside is much more difficult to render; that concerned me and I’m glad I succeeded.” Mr. Dup also confessed that he has worked for three months to make the bust and that the inaugurated sculpture is the fifth version he has worked on. “I think I actually got what I was looking for,” said the sculptor, according to www.angelus.com.ro.
“I am welcoming the initiative of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese, the Apostolic Nuncio and the General City Hall of Bucharest to offer the public the image of the Holy Father Pope Francis, as a reminder of the warmth of his message to Romanians and humanity, a call of love and faith. (…) The bust we are unveiling today is not a monument, for it does not commemorate the past. Rather, we are in a place of encounter with ourselves and with the others, to feel and learn that, as the Holy Father said, we belong to each other, and personal happiness is achieved by making others happy,” President Klaus Iohannis said in a message delivered at the ceremony by presidential adviser Sergiu Nistor.
Iohannis recalls last year’s state, pastoral and ecumenical visit of Pope Francis to Romania, under the motto ‘Let’s walk together!’, showing that it has a major significance to Romania’s relationships with the Holy See, anticipating this year’s centennial of the diplomatic ties between Romania and the Vatican.
“In the face of contemporary challenges, Romanian citizens received the visit of His Holiness as an encouragement to fulfill themselves through the common good, to contribute to a society of justice and a world of love between people. The beatification at Blaj of the martyred bishops of the Romanian Greek Catholic Church, perfumed on the historical Plain of Freedom, consecrated the victory of our society against a tyrannical and coercive ideological system in terms of the fundamental rights of the human persons. One year ago, in Bucharest, at Humuleu-Ciuc, in Iasi and at Blaj, Pope Francis called on humanity to show solidarity and to overcome economic and social fractures: Romania, the ‘Garden of the Mother of God’, as the Holy Pope John Paul II called it two decades ago, was the place chosen by the Holy Father to plead for a society that would include all its members, giving them the chance to creative, participatory and solidary contributions to the construction of the common good,” reads Iohannis’s message.