Weekly overview in pictures: Prince Charles visits Romania | Romanian director awarded in Cannes | Iron Maiden concert
The war in Romania's northern neighbor came under the spotlight once more when the Prince of Wales, who is on a visit in the country, dropped by the center for Ukrainian refugees set up at Romexpo, in northern Bucharest. Elsewhere, Romanian filmmaker Alexandru Belc was awarded the Best Director prize in Cannes' Un Certain Regard section, while the Bucharest public could enjoy an Iron Maiden concert and another weekend in the Open Streets program. More of the May 23 – May 29 week's highlights in photos below.
After a three-year break, Prince Charles returned to Romania for a visit that began last week in Bucharest. In the Romanian capital, the prince visited the center for Ukrainian refugees set up at Romexpo and met with president Klaus Iohannis and prime minister Nicolae Ciucă. The prince, who has been visiting Romania regularly since 1998, then went to see the properties he owns in Transylvania. He owns a Saxon cottage in Viscri, in Brasov county and one other property in Valea Zălanului / Zalanpatak, in Covasna county.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) opened an office in Cluj-Napoca, its second in Romania. EBRD is the first international financial institution to open a regional office in the Transylvanian city. The Cluj-Napoca office will mainly support local small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the region with expert advice, training and access to finance.
More than 170 people were evacuated after a subway train that left from Piaţa Romană station heading to Berceni broke down on the morning of May 24. Twenty-five received medical attention, and two of them, who had preexisting medical conditions, were taken to the hospital. Metrorex, the operator of the Bucharest subway, announced a "technical malfunction leading to a smoke release." On May 26, the Tineretului and Eroii Revoluţiei stations were closed early in the morning (at 4:45) after an insulator deteriorated because of humidity, dust and other residues in the tunnel. No trains were blocked in the tunnels, and no travelers were evacuated. The stations reopened after repair works.
Romanian director and screenwriter Alexandru Belc won the Best Director award in the Un Certain Regard section for his movie Metronom. Focused on "artistically daring" productions, the section included 20 films, seven of which were first features competing for the Caméra d'Or trophy. Metronom tells the story of Ana, who lives in Bucharest during the era of Ceaușescu (1972). Having come to present a letter at the headquarters of Radio Free Europe, which broadcasts the music program clandestinely, the adolescent experiences first-hand the violence of the secret police (Securitate). The film will have its national premiere at this year's TIFF.
The Open Streets program, which sees several arteries in Bucharest open to pedestrians over the weekend, continued, and the public could enjoy sports activities in the Kiseleff Park, workshops for children in the area of Iorga Park, theater performances in front of the Radisson Hotel and the National History Museum and concerts in the area of Kretzulescu Church, among others.
Die Doppelgängerin, a sculpture by Austrian artist Valie Export, was unveiled at the Museum of Recent Art (MARe) in Bucharest. The sculpture, created in 2010, was designed in five copies, made of different materials and placed in various locations around the world. The Bucharest sculpture, entering the permanent collection of MARe, is the second in the series and the only one cast in bronze. Before arriving in Bucharest, the sculpture was exhibited in Berlin, at Palais Populaire (2020 – 2021). The Belvedere Palace in Vienna permanently hosts another version made of stainless steel.
Heavy metal legends Iron Maiden returned to Bucharest for a concert on May 26. The performance was part of their Legacy of the Beast tour, which the band had to postpone because of the pandemic. The band, who were previously in the city in 2016, performed at Romexpo, to a packed audience.
(Opening photo: Alex MICSIK / AGERPRES FOTO, courtesy of British Embassy Bucharest)