iPhone photo of the day: August Treboniu Laurian’s bust statue

August Treboniu Laurian's statue, Matei Basarb area, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

The bust statue of August Treboniu Laurian (1810 – 1881), one of the personalities of the Romanian 1848 national revolution in Transylvania and a prominent linguist and historian of that era. He belonged to the latinist current, which militated for the purification of the Romanian language of non-Latin words, which resulted in laughable dictionaries and rules of writing and pronunciation. Laurian came to settle in Bucharest in the later part of his life and is known to have been the Romanian language tutor of Prince Carol, the future King Carol I, a native of the German lands, appointed in 1866 through a plebiscite on the throne of the then United (Danubian) Principalities. Today the statue is left unmaintained, in an architecturally disfigured area of the city following the wild property boom of the mid-2000s (see the once beautiful mature phase Neo-Romanian style in the background now “adorned” with cheap metal tile imitation roofing), suffocated by adverts about fast food restaurants, car insurance and translation services, typical of the low cultural level and lack of respect for heritage displayed by a majority of contemporary Romanians.

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