Vaaaaaai..... Ce rusine...

brancusi_2000Brancusi collection auctioned in Paris, but Romanian state says doesn't have money to buy

Bucharest Herald

An embarrassing situation for the Romanian state. A collection of works and personal items Constantin Brancusi left to his heirs, artists Nicoleta Dumitrescu and Alexandru Istrati, believed to be worth between 1.5 million and 2 million Euro, will be auctioned in Paris on November 30, but Minister Kelemen Hunor says the Ministry of Culture doesn't have enough money to take part in the auction.

"This year's budget does not have money to buy either buildings or mobile heritage or items put up for sale or auctioned," the minister of culture told Agerpres.

The collection includes three sculptures, 20 furniture items and objects designed or changed by Brancusi for personal use, but also personal items that belonged to the sculptor, Mediafax reports. All the items were left to Nicoleta Dumitrescu and Alexandru Istrati, who were very close to Brancusi. Theodor Nicol, the artist's grandson and heir, decided to sell the collection that the sculptor left to the two artists.

The most important piece in the collection is the four-part sculpture The Kiss (Column), done in 1935 and estimated at 800,000 to 1.2 million Euro. The sculpture details the fundamental principles of Brancusi's art: a taste for primitivism, commitment to symbolism, a search for simplicity and symmetry and the love for matter and verticality. The artist gave the sculpture to the Istrati couple in 1950.

In 1947, Brancusi welcomed the Istrati couple in his residence in Impasse Ronsin and treated them as his own children. He helped them set up in a workshop next to his and gave them furniture items and other objects they needed. These include two lams with stone stands, done around 1930 and worth 120,000-180,000 Euro, a vase (around 1940, worth 20,000-30,000) and a reading desk for bed use (1954, 20,000-30,000 Euro).