Famous Brancusi sculpture Wisdom of the Earth may be sold at auction in Romania

The owners of the famous sculpture Wisdom of the Earth (Cumintenia Pamantului) by Constantin Brancusi may decide to sell it at an auction in Romania, after the Government failed to buy it.

Romania’s Government agreed to buy the statue by December 20. However, the public fundraising campaign carried out this year failed to raise the needed funds and the Government has been unsure how to proceed with this project.

The sculpture’s owners may thus decide to sell it at an auction, after a meeting with the new Government to clarify if the Ministry of Culture has any plans of exercising its preemption right on buying the piece, according to their lawyer, Bogdan Grabowski, quoted by Mediafax.

At the beginning of this year, the Government led by Dacian Ciolos agreed to pay EUR 11 million for the sculpture, but only allotted EUR 5 million for the acquisition and hoped to raise the remaining EUR 6 million via a public fundraising campaign. The campaign, which went through from April to end-September, only raised some EUR 1.2 million.

However, instead of abandoning the purchase and returning the donors’ money, as initially announced, the Government made a series of ambiguous decisions. At first, the Government announced that it would use the EUR 1.2 million raised from donations and allot another EUR 4.8 million from public funds for this purchase.

However, the cabinet didn’t want to make this decision alone and face possible legal actions later and asked the Parliament to approve the acquisition, but the Parliament didn’t approve the Government’s proposal.

It is highly unlikely that the new Social-Democratic Government will finalize this project, as PSD has strongly criticized the Ciolos cabinet for the “Cumintenia Pamantului” campaign this year.

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