Daily Picture 16-Oct-09: Exquisite Pelican-like Motif Art Nouveau Panel

Art Nouveau decorative panel, Bucharest (Valentin Mandache)

Bucharest, Unirii area: this pelican-like motif (it is a combination of aquatic bird motifs, the pelican being the dominant one) panel is one of the most beautiful and exquisite early (late 1890s) Art Nouveau decorations in the entire capital of Romania. (©Valentin Mandache)

The building embellished with these extraordinary panels is in a very run down state, practically beyond repair. It is inhabited by careless and ignorant state tenants housed there since the communist era, after the rightful owners were abusively dispossessed by the then government. The building also seems neglected by the state authorities in charge with the preservation of architectural heritage. This situation is symptomatic for many historic houses in today Romania, a consequence of a low quality education system, probably the worst in the European Union, and absence of a proper civic identity among the Romanian public. Bucharest is probably the European capital where the local architectural heritage is most actively destroyed by its own citizens.

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I endeavor through this daily image series to inspire appreciation of 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.