Daily Picture 16-Sep-09: Property Speculators Damage Rococo House

Grand Rococo style house (Second Empire) , Amzei Area Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

Rococo revival style grand house, first decade of 20th c., Amzei Area, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

The above edifice in central Bucharest was bought from impoverished elderly owners by a Spanish office developer. It has bits of the roof stripped off and the building is left to deteriorate for a number of years now. The new owners’ intention is to build high yield rent offices on the valuable piece of land occupied by this Rococo building. Because the edifice is listed, the only legal means to get a demoliton order is to have the building damaged beyond repair through water infiltrations and lack of maintainance. The owners have already discretely stripped off essential parts of the roof, damaged the interior and broke the windows in order to achieve that. This is just one example from the innumerable instances in which the property speculators, taking advantage of weak legislation and corrupt officials, have destroyed and continue to destroy the historic buildings of Romania’s capital.

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My goal through this daily series of images is to spark the interest of a diverse international audience into the historic houses of Romania, a virtually undiscovered, but fascinating chapter of European architectural heritage.

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If you plan acquiring a historic property in Romania or start a renovation project, I would be delighted to advice you in locating the property, specialist research, planning permissions, restoration project management, etc. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contact page of this weblog.