Minister of Culture and National Identity George Ivascu presented on Tuesday to the Committee on Culture of the Chamber of Deputies a review of the events devoted to December 1 Union Centennial, saying that 643 projects have been approved so far.Of these, 167 were initiated by central administration bodies (worth 50 million lei); 362 by counties (worth 50 million lei) and 114 NGOs (worth 45.5 million lei). Ivascu said that 95 percent of the total amount allocated for the Centennial events is covered and a new project session is to be held for the remaining amount.
He added that 150 million lei were allocated for the Union Centennial event, 50 million lei each for the central administration bodies, counties and NGOs.
The 643 projects include 111 shows, 93 festivals, 90 exhibitions, 85 public monuments, 51 book and launches, 48 symposia, 25 conferences, 24 album releases, 23 civilian and military ceremonies, 22 digital projects, 21 rehabilitation of memorial houses, 18 tours, 16 concerts and 9 film projects, as well as 6 commemorative plaques.
As for the Greater Union Monument in Arad, a project started 12 years ago, the minister said it is due to be set in place by November 25. The minister also presented the latest developments in the construction of the Greater Union monument in Alba Iulia that started in 1993.
"Ten columns that are part of the foundation have been set in place about 24 meters deep. Final touches are being given to the foundation, and the first components of the monument have been transported and received, which had entered a previous stage of finishing prior to being mounted," he said.
Culture Committee Chairman Gigel Stirbu of the opposition National Liberal Party (PNL) reproached the minister of having failed to show up for three previous hearings he had been invited to attend. The minister replied that he was unable to participate for subjective reasons, as he had to attend the official opening of Bookfest, then he had to be in Timisoara, where a jury of the European Commission was deciding in favour of the city being made a European capital of culture, and the third time he had to be in Alba Iulia for discussions on the stages of the works on the Greater Union Monument.
On the other hand, PNL's lawmaker Florin Roman said that the officials of the city of Alba Iulia have nothing to reproach the minister of as far as the latter's relationship with the city goes.