Romanian Night of Museums: Unusual Protest

The National Network of Romanian Museums raised awareness for the difficult situations faced by Romanian museums by underlining their valuable role for society and the economy in a never before seen protest.

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The Night of Museums has become a tradition in Romania. It is organised by the National Network of Romanian Museums and attracted 190,000 visitors in Bucharest in 2014, the organiser were hoping for even higher numbers in 2015.

The protest took place in various institutions, who participated in the Night of Museums 2015 festival. A valuable work of art was covered as a sign of protest against the worsening situation for Romanian museums. The idea was that every museum covers a piece of art with a cloth to symbolise the possibility that the work might be gone the next time somebody wants to see it.
This act is intended as a criticism of the lack of support museums in Romania have received from state authorities in the past few years, especially in light of restitution claims and the loss of buildings, such as that experienced by the Art Museum of Galati a few years ago.

The National Network of Romanian Museums and organiser of the event hopes the protest will continue to attract the attention of the public and gain the support of a large group of people, so that it can advocate for radical actions to improve the museums’ situation. The campaign has already garnered significant media attention and started a debate on museums’ contributions to society, and to the creative and cultural economy. In a follow-up campaign, an exhibition will be developed to display objects from museums that have been forced to close because their buildings were reclaimed or bought by new owners.

Night of Museums

The National Network of Romanian Museums

Article on the protest

Find the Night of Museums' Protest Campaign and other examples in NEMO's publication "Museums' 4 Values - Values 4 Museums"!