Horia-Roman Patapievici, president of the Romanian Cultural Institute (ICR) | Courtesy of https://www.facebook.com/Carturesti
Horia-Roman Patapievici, president of the Romanian Cultural Institute (ICR) | Courtesy of https://www.facebook.com/Carturesti

Cărturești posted this photo on their Facebook Page. The caption states:

Horia-Roman Patapievici a declarat că va demisiona de la conducerea Institutului Cultural Român. Noi îi mulțumim pentru tot ce a reușit, alături de managementul acestei instituții. Este atipic pentru societatea noastră ca un organism care gestionează bani publici să aducă performanțe și recunoaștere peisajului cultural autohton. Și asta ar trebui să fie mai presus de orice tevatură politică.

Horia-Roman Patapievici, president of the Romanian Cultural Institute (ICR), announced that he and the entire of the ICR leadership will resign. The reasons? The original mission of the ICR has been officially altered. It is now under the political control of the Senate, a decision that the country’s Constitutional Court officially ruled as constitutional on July 31 — to the dismay of the current leaders of ICR.

Moreover, Romania’s Finance Ministry announced that ICR’s budget will be slashed by some 3.1 million euros, more than a third  –  a drastic budget cut (33 percent) that left planned projects and contractually engaged initiatives in the lurch

What is Cărtureşti?

Cărtureşti is a cultural venue that functions as a bookshop, tea studio, and project space, taking direct action towards revitalizing the Romanian artistic life, urban pleasures and social responsibilities. Since its opening at the end of year 2000, Cărtureşti set its mission on changing the trend in the downsloping book market, promoting quality and value by regarding clients’ demands as a priority investment.

There are thirteen Cărturești shops in Romania, and you can see the addresses and contact details here: http://librarie.carturesti.ro/despre-noi/cum-ne-gasesti-705/

The biggest shop, Cărturești “Verona”, is located downtown Bucharest, next to Patria Cinema, on the Magheru Boulevard. There you can find a large selection of english books, from fiction to specialty publishing, a generous selection of CDs and DVDs, stationery and gifts. Besides the tea room, there is also a cafe and a large terrace, serving food and drinks. www.carturesti.ro

Cărtureşti became known to the U.S., thanks to Corina Suteu, Oana Radu and the present and past workers of the Romanian Cultural Institute in New York. They had a vision. Cărturești must occupy the Romanian Cultural Institute’s gallery.

I was a witness to the arrival on American soil of Cărturești. Adam Clark, another witness, described this ICR in New York event as “a mash-up, a hybrid creature of the cafe and the library, the student hangout and the community space, the bookstore and the cultural platform.”

If “Paradise is a library” (Borges), Cărturești mirrors it in Romania!

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