Death Threat for Museum Director over Roma Exhibition

George Mihal Vasilescu in the Museum in Bucharest, standing in front of two of his works. Photo: Lucian Muntean via Artists for Roma


The director of Bucharest’s Museum of the Romanian Peasant, Virgil Nitulescu, has received a death threat via e-mail over his current exhibition of 15 paintings by George Vasilescu, the dpa reports. A selection of the works depict musicians from the Roma people playing a controversial genre of music called Manele.

According to Nitulescu, the threat is the latest in a series of attacks, which have cited the exhibition as reflecting poorly on Romanian national identity and called for Nitulescu’s resignation, among other measures.

The campaign is most visibly led by Romanian politician Bogdan Diaconu who is a member of the socialist, Partidul Social Democrat (PSD) political party. He has flooded his Facebook wall with articles and commentary about the exhibition.

In 2013, Manele music was banned in public transport, taxis, and festivals in some portions of Romania. The country has come under fire from international press for breeding increasing anti-Roma sentiments.

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