So, it happened (please click and read article from Le Petit Journal). They killed it. The house at str. Maria Rosetti, 38. The investor that bought it had it ripped down illegally last weekend - no permission to demolish and without the knowledge of the minister of culture, if what we are being lead to believe is true. The so-called "architect" who approved the demolition, Adriana Bagdasar, has been fired. Not nearly a stringent enough punishment. She can find another job. Str. Maria Rosetti, 38 has gone forever...
I visited this house in July and wept for it on the other side of the road. There was nothing left but a shell. It stood there shattered and bruised, its wooden panelling stolen from its once-beautiful interior, its window panes, too. You could still see its elegance in spite of that. And yet...and yet what of respect for history? For patrimony? What of that? Doesn't every life deserve to end with some degree of dignity? Investors and politicians do not care. What is far, far more important is the lining of pockets. Money, after all, makes the world go round, does it not?
Bucharest, Micul Paris, is being dismembered little by little. Hacked up. Totally disfigured with a terrifyingly savage barbarity. One house after another. One jewel, then another. One memory and then... another. Until one day, what will be left? Office blocks of hideous structure, probably half finished and badly built which will collapse at the next earthquake (I hope they do. It would serve them right) and no architectural history, much less culture, whatsoever.
Greed is by far a stronger force than the desire to preserve memory, respect and national heritage. It is not the first time this has happened and it won't be the last. We all know that. What happens when a house is on a protection register and cannot be destroyed, such as the Miclescu house on Sos Kiseleff, for example (see left, photo: Bucurestii Noi si Veche)? The owner leaves its demise to the powers of Mother Nature and waits for it to simply fall apart whether or not the ceiling in the ballroom was painted by Mirea. Who's Mirea anyway and what do they care? In some cases, mysterious fires break out, just to help the process along a little faster. This beautiful house has been left to auto-destruct for the last ten years by its new owners, Stelei Dumitru (Titi) Dimitriu and Ilarian Puscoci. Listed as a monument of local interest, it cannot, legally, be demolished. Never mind. There's more than one way to skin a cat. Remember! Money makes the world go round, not history or art or...heaven forfend...a city's soul.
There are some who try to block these dreadful acts of destruction. The Save Bucharest association for example, Artrad is another. Individuals try, too, organising wonderful events such as the march that took place in June starting at Pta Universitatii to pay homage to these victims of greed, these murderous attacks on the past. They marched from victim to victim with candles. How wonderful, how moving that some people do actually care...but they are powerless. The violinist, Alexandru Tomescu and his Stratevarius performed Porombescu and Bach opposite str. Visarion, 8.
What can one do but shout about it, publish it...and then what? It just happens again and again. Just look at str. Visarion, 8, left to decay in a state of collapse following a very suspicious 'spontaneous' fire. Shame! Shame! Shame!
It has to stop. Isn't the country scarred enough? One needs every bit of beauty one can find in this life and yet there, in Bucharest, little gardens are being bulldozed, foul renovations are being carried out with no adhesion to law, thermopan is shoved onto the windows and doors of beautiful old facades...and the city screams to be left in peace to lick it wounds and tell its history.
Where will it end? Destruction of the Storck house perhaps? The Caru' Cu Bere? Stavropoleos? The Ateneul?