Romanian minister of culture and national identity Ionut Vulpescu has said his department’s budget will double in 2017. The department has also been renamed from the Ministry of Culture to the Ministry of Culture and National Identity.
Vulpescu has said one of the ministry’s goals is to purchase important Romanian artworks. In 2016 it failed to raise funds to buy Cumintenia Pamantului (Wisdom of the Earth), a sculpture by Romanian artist Constantin Brancusi – best known for his monument The Infinity Column in Târgu Jiu.
‘Now that the budget of the Culture Ministry will be higher, we’ll redirect money to this fund, so that episodes like “Cumintenia Pamantului” will not take place anymore,’ said Vulpescu in an interview with Romania Insider.
Although Romania’s cabinet was recently reorganised following elections in December 2016, Vulpescu has retained his post. He took up the role in April 2016, following the resignation of Vlad Alexandrescu after a scandal at Bucharest National Opera.
Vulpescu himself has come under fire over his role in the classification of Rosia Montana as a UNESCO world hertiage site. Many in Romania hoped the government would put in an application for UNESCO status in order to prevent Canadian company Gabriel Resources mining in the area, but this did not happen.