Weekly overview in pictures: Romanian swimmer wins two world titles | Sibiu International Theater Festival | RO lake turns pink

Young swimmer David Popovici made headlines last week with his double win at the World Championships in Budapest. He won the 100m and 200m freestyle races, bringing home Romania's first world gold medal in a men's swimming competition and setting two new junior world records. As TIFF ended its 21st edition, another landmark event on the cultural agenda kicked off in Sibiu, where the international theater festival has taken over the city. Elsewhere, Lake Techirghiol, on the country's Black Sea Coast, welcomed visitors to a changed color. More of the June 20 - 26 week's highlights in photos below.

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Photo: Gov.ro

A delegation of the Romanian Government, headed by prime minister Nicolae Ciucă, was in the United Arab Emirates last week to discuss projects in the field of energy, port infrastructure, agriculture, and IT. The PM met with sheik Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, president of the United Arab Emirates, and discussed the diversification of the European oil and natural gas supply. The agreement between the Government of Romania and two companies in Dubai - Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation (PCFC) and DP World - will help modernize and turn the Port of Constanta into one of the Black Sea's most important cargo and vehicle hubs, the Government of Dubai announced after last week's visit.

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Photo: Gov.ro

On Sunday, June 26, PM Ciucă joined Bucharest mayor Nicușor Dan, District 1 mayor Clotilde Armand and other officials for ceremonies marking the Day of the National Flag. The celebration, organized in the vicinity of the Military Circle Palace on Calea Victoriei, marked 174 years since the tricolor (blue/ yellow/red) became the country's flag. 

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Photo: Presidency.ro

Meanwhile, president Klaus Iohannis attended the talks of the EU-Western Balkans Leaders' Meeting and the European Council, where Moldova and Ukraine were granted EU candidate country status. Iohannis said Romania would offer Moldova the help it needs as well as its experience as a candidate country and a new member of the Union.

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Photo: Daniel Baluta Facebook Page

Unirii Underpass in downtown Bucharest closed to traffic on June 20. The underpass is undergoing repair works set to last approximately two months, according to District 4 mayor Daniel Băluță. The underpass, built in the 190s, sees traffic of some 60,000 cars daily. The works entail measures to secure the ceiling to prevent plaster from falling on cars, the mayor explained. Separate traffic flows for motorcycles and cars will also be built and a ventilation system installed.

.
Photo: Ministerul Sporturilor Facebook Page

Last week was a memorable one for Romanian swimming as 17-year-old David Popovici won both the 200-meter freestyle and 100-meter freestyle finals at the World Aquatics Championships in Budapest. His win in the 200-meter freestyle final meant Romania's first world gold medal in a men's swimming competition. Romania had previously won two gold medals at the World Championships in the women's swimming competitions. Popovici qualified for the final in Budapest with the best time in the competition and a new junior world record (1:44:40). In the final, he improved his time, further clocking in an impressive 1:43:21. To reward this his win, the Government announced it would hand Popovici a RON 1 million (EUR 200,000) prize.

.
Photo: Ovidiu Matiu, courtesy of FITS

Sibiu International Theater Festival (FITS) kicked off this past weekend (opening photo), taking over the central Romania city with an extensive program of performances, concerts, street theater shows, workshops, and conferences for a new edition of the landmark event in performing arts.

.
Photo: Dragos Dumitru, courtesy of FITS

The fireworks that have so far marked the opening and closing of the event have been replaced this year by a drone light show in a move to adopt a more environment-friendly solution.

.
Photo: Dragos Dumitru, courtesy of FITS

Concerts are another staple of FITS, which this year features a VR section and a 'living statues festival,' among others. Colombian band Puerto Candelaria performed to a packed Grand Square over the weekend. The event was one of several the festival scheduled to stream on TikTok, following a partnership with the social media platform.

.
Photo: Sebastian Marcovici, courtesy of FITS

The opening of FITS also brought the inauguration of Japanese company NTT Data Romania's new HQ in Sibiu. The inaugural event included a performance of Yamamoto Noh Theatre of Osaka, which brought the audience a display of one of the oldest forms of traditional Japanese theater, included in the UNESCO heritage.

.
Photo: Sergiu Topan, courtesy of TIFF

After more than a week filled with events for movie fans, Transilvania International Film Festival (TIFF) announced the winners of its 21st edition. Bolivian production Utama, the debut feature of director Alejandro Loayza Grisi, landed the Transilvania Trophy, worth EUR 10,000. The film, which won the grand jury prize in the World Cinema Dramatic competition at this year's Sundance Film Festival, was also the audience's favorite and received the Public's Choice Award, amounting to EUR 2,000. The movie, which tells the story of a llama herder couple struggling with a severe drought, was praised for the "director's simple, clean, and poetic cinematic approach."

.
Photo: Lorand Vakarcs, courtesy of TIFF

Last week, the organizers of TIFF also announced plans to hold a film festival in Constanța, on the Romanian Black Sea coast. The event, titled SUNSCREEN Film & Arts Festival, is scheduled to take place between September 8 and September 11. With the announcement, TIFF follows the music festival Untold, another event born in Cluj-Napoca, in tackling the audience at the seaside. The team behind Untold has been organizing the festival Neversea in Constanța for several years. They were also planning a similar event in Brașov this year, but it was postponed because of the pandemic.

.
Screen capture from video

Lake Techirghiol, on the outskirts of balneal seaside resort Eforie Nord, changed its color in some parts to a shade of pink. The color is due to the sulfur bacteria, which covers the algae parts that are exposed to light. Adrian Bîlbă, a former head of the Constanţa Nature Sciences Museum, also pointed to the presence of microalga Dunaliella salina. The alga is not a toxic one but a halophile one, found in hypersaline environments. The substances released by the algae have an anti-inflammatory effect, Bîlbă explained for Digi24, in keeping with the properties the lake is known for.

(Opening photo: Ovidiu Matiu, courtesy of FITS)

simona@romania-insider.com

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Weekly overview in pictures: Romanian swimmer wins two world titles | Sibiu International Theater Festival | RO lake turns pink

Young swimmer David Popovici made headlines last week with his double win at the World Championships in Budapest. He won the 100m and 200m freestyle races, bringing home Romania's first world gold medal in a men's swimming competition and setting two new junior world records. As TIFF ended its 21st edition, another landmark event on the cultural agenda kicked off in Sibiu, where the international theater festival has taken over the city. Elsewhere, Lake Techirghiol, on the country's Black Sea Coast, welcomed visitors to a changed color. More of the June 20 - 26 week's highlights in photos below.

.
Photo: Gov.ro

A delegation of the Romanian Government, headed by prime minister Nicolae Ciucă, was in the United Arab Emirates last week to discuss projects in the field of energy, port infrastructure, agriculture, and IT. The PM met with sheik Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, president of the United Arab Emirates, and discussed the diversification of the European oil and natural gas supply. The agreement between the Government of Romania and two companies in Dubai - Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation (PCFC) and DP World - will help modernize and turn the Port of Constanta into one of the Black Sea's most important cargo and vehicle hubs, the Government of Dubai announced after last week's visit.

.
Photo: Gov.ro

On Sunday, June 26, PM Ciucă joined Bucharest mayor Nicușor Dan, District 1 mayor Clotilde Armand and other officials for ceremonies marking the Day of the National Flag. The celebration, organized in the vicinity of the Military Circle Palace on Calea Victoriei, marked 174 years since the tricolor (blue/ yellow/red) became the country's flag. 

.
Photo: Presidency.ro

Meanwhile, president Klaus Iohannis attended the talks of the EU-Western Balkans Leaders' Meeting and the European Council, where Moldova and Ukraine were granted EU candidate country status. Iohannis said Romania would offer Moldova the help it needs as well as its experience as a candidate country and a new member of the Union.

.
Photo: Daniel Baluta Facebook Page

Unirii Underpass in downtown Bucharest closed to traffic on June 20. The underpass is undergoing repair works set to last approximately two months, according to District 4 mayor Daniel Băluță. The underpass, built in the 190s, sees traffic of some 60,000 cars daily. The works entail measures to secure the ceiling to prevent plaster from falling on cars, the mayor explained. Separate traffic flows for motorcycles and cars will also be built and a ventilation system installed.

.
Photo: Ministerul Sporturilor Facebook Page

Last week was a memorable one for Romanian swimming as 17-year-old David Popovici won both the 200-meter freestyle and 100-meter freestyle finals at the World Aquatics Championships in Budapest. His win in the 200-meter freestyle final meant Romania's first world gold medal in a men's swimming competition. Romania had previously won two gold medals at the World Championships in the women's swimming competitions. Popovici qualified for the final in Budapest with the best time in the competition and a new junior world record (1:44:40). In the final, he improved his time, further clocking in an impressive 1:43:21. To reward this his win, the Government announced it would hand Popovici a RON 1 million (EUR 200,000) prize.

.
Photo: Ovidiu Matiu, courtesy of FITS

Sibiu International Theater Festival (FITS) kicked off this past weekend (opening photo), taking over the central Romania city with an extensive program of performances, concerts, street theater shows, workshops, and conferences for a new edition of the landmark event in performing arts.

.
Photo: Dragos Dumitru, courtesy of FITS

The fireworks that have so far marked the opening and closing of the event have been replaced this year by a drone light show in a move to adopt a more environment-friendly solution.

.
Photo: Dragos Dumitru, courtesy of FITS

Concerts are another staple of FITS, which this year features a VR section and a 'living statues festival,' among others. Colombian band Puerto Candelaria performed to a packed Grand Square over the weekend. The event was one of several the festival scheduled to stream on TikTok, following a partnership with the social media platform.

.
Photo: Sebastian Marcovici, courtesy of FITS

The opening of FITS also brought the inauguration of Japanese company NTT Data Romania's new HQ in Sibiu. The inaugural event included a performance of Yamamoto Noh Theatre of Osaka, which brought the audience a display of one of the oldest forms of traditional Japanese theater, included in the UNESCO heritage.

.
Photo: Sergiu Topan, courtesy of TIFF

After more than a week filled with events for movie fans, Transilvania International Film Festival (TIFF) announced the winners of its 21st edition. Bolivian production Utama, the debut feature of director Alejandro Loayza Grisi, landed the Transilvania Trophy, worth EUR 10,000. The film, which won the grand jury prize in the World Cinema Dramatic competition at this year's Sundance Film Festival, was also the audience's favorite and received the Public's Choice Award, amounting to EUR 2,000. The movie, which tells the story of a llama herder couple struggling with a severe drought, was praised for the "director's simple, clean, and poetic cinematic approach."

.
Photo: Lorand Vakarcs, courtesy of TIFF

Last week, the organizers of TIFF also announced plans to hold a film festival in Constanța, on the Romanian Black Sea coast. The event, titled SUNSCREEN Film & Arts Festival, is scheduled to take place between September 8 and September 11. With the announcement, TIFF follows the music festival Untold, another event born in Cluj-Napoca, in tackling the audience at the seaside. The team behind Untold has been organizing the festival Neversea in Constanța for several years. They were also planning a similar event in Brașov this year, but it was postponed because of the pandemic.

.
Screen capture from video

Lake Techirghiol, on the outskirts of balneal seaside resort Eforie Nord, changed its color in some parts to a shade of pink. The color is due to the sulfur bacteria, which covers the algae parts that are exposed to light. Adrian Bîlbă, a former head of the Constanţa Nature Sciences Museum, also pointed to the presence of microalga Dunaliella salina. The alga is not a toxic one but a halophile one, found in hypersaline environments. The substances released by the algae have an anti-inflammatory effect, Bîlbă explained for Digi24, in keeping with the properties the lake is known for.

(Opening photo: Ovidiu Matiu, courtesy of FITS)

simona@romania-insider.com

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