Neo-Romanian style doorway and gas pipe

A late 1920s Neo-Romanian style doorway "adorned" with a contemporary gas-pipe, Dorobanti area, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

The strange setting presented above is an all too often encountered scene in Romania’s capital, where the city regulations and enforcement measures regarding the protection of period buildings are weak and plagued in many cases by corruption. Apart from the gas pipe, there is also an air conditioning unit in the upper right hand corner area of the image, and also a multitude of carelessly fixed TV cables above the door awning, giving an idea about the scale of this problem in Bucharest. To be fair, the fault is not entirely with the authorities, but lays also with the cultural attitudes of the local citizens, who in most cases see the gas pipes contorting around the exterior walls of their houses and the air conditioning units as status symbols of well being. That is why a change in those attitudes from both the citizens and the authorities will take a long time to achieve, perhaps a generation, which is hopped to be more educated and aware about the fragility of the architectural identity of this city.

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I endeavour through this daily series of daily articles to inspire appreciation of the historic houses of Romania, a virtually undiscovered, but fascinating chapter of European architectural history and 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 sourcing 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.

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