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Pioneers' Palace - Subjective Histories exhibition at Cotroceni National Museum

Muzeul Național Cotroceni

The Pioneers' Palace - Subjective Histories exhibition, which has in its center the history of the Pioneers' Palace, as it was lived and felt by the students who crossed its threshold, was opened on Tuesday in the Medieval Spaces of the Cotroceni National Museum of Bucharest.

Through this project, the Cotroceni National Museum aims to put together historical researches with the documentation of oral history and to capitalize, through multimedia methods, the heritage generated by the period 1949-1976, a patrimony of which sources are still accessible, the organizers specify.

The deputy managing director of the Cotroceni National Museum Stefania Dinu presented, in a short history, the way in which the Cotroceni Palace came to be transformed, during the communist period, into the Pioneers' Palace, a place of development of the activities specific to the pioneer organizations.

"The idea of the exhibition is older, because we capitalized on this segment of the history of the Cotroceni compound in 2011, for the first time. Then I presented the exhibition "From the Royal Palace to the Palace of the Pioneers" having as main theme the illustration of the passage from the Royal Palace to the way this palace was to be constituted in a Palace of the Pioneers, how the palace became subordinated to the National Organization of Pioneers and how it was chosen as a place of development of the specific activities of the pioneer organization in the Cotroceni Palace. In fact, it was a way to erase from the collective memory the image of royalty and to give another destiny to this place that was to be occupied by the children of the working class. This year's exhibition presents the Palace of the Pioneers from another perspective, that of the memories of the pioneers who were at the Cotroceni Palace and who had the courtesy to tell us from the histories lived by them, as well as children who frequented the circles of the Pioneers' Palace," Stefania Dinu told AGERPRES.

Displayed in the exhibition are both items worn by the pioneers, as well as many video images from the archive of the Romanian Television.

"The video image is the one that prevails these days, because it combines archival images with the images from the museum, where those who agreed to tell us about their experience at the Palatul Copiilor/Pioneers' Palace or Children's Palace remembered much better the moments lived at the palace, which now, again, has become a decorated palace as in the period of royalty. It's a game between the new and the old, between the present and the past, which I think catches on especially to the young audience because they didn't live that period, they just heard from the stories of their parents, of their grandparents, and then it's a real history cure, and the image does everything in this digital world we live in," Stefania Dinu said.

The project manager Bianca Barsan specified that the Pioneers' Palace - Subjective Histories exhibition is part of the Cotroceni IStory project.

"The project 'Cotroceni IStory' (...) is based on the affective and subjective dimension of heritage, the stories that we tell ourselves and tell about photographs, objects, people, buildings from the past. In addition to this exhibition, the project also includes a series of essays and a film workshop in which high school students from Bucharest told the story of the patrimony in the Cotroceni neighborhood. The exhibition Pionees' Palace - Subjective Histories could not be here without the support of former pioneers who agreed to share their memories with us," said Bianca Barsan.

The event was attended by the president of the Romanian Cultural Institute, Liviu Jicman (former manager of the Cotroceni National Museum), the managing director of AGERPRES National News Agency, Claudia Nicolae and the journalist Liviu Tofan.

The exhibition can be visited until October 2, either during the full tour of the museum or on the exhibition tour, from Tuesday to Sunday.

The exhibition is part of the Cotroceni IStory project, put together by the Cotroceni National Museum and co-financed by the Administration of the National Cultural Fund, in partnership with AGERPRES National News Agency, the Romanian Television Society, the National Archives of Romania, the National Museum of History of Romania and the Ferdinand I National Military Museum.

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