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Royal House of Romania, Russian Imperial House in La Belle Epoque exhibition opens in Brasov

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An exhibition of photographs of the Royal House of Romania and the Russian Imperial House from the end of the 19th century - the beginning of the 20th century opened on Tuesday in Brasov as part of a project in which the Brasov County Museum of History partnered with the Russian Centre for Science and Culture in Bucharest and three archives from Russia.

The central figure of the exhibition, entitled "The Russian Imperial House and the Royal House of Romania on the cusp between centuries," is Queen Marie, and beyond being "a tribute to the memory of the common past of our countries," it "emphasises that, as a heiress apparent and then Queen of Romania, she did not lost her ties with Britain or Russia."

"We have many photos here that are true books, because you have a correct fresco of a lost world from the late 19th century, early 20th century, that La Belle Epoque that we read about and wonder how beautiful it was, but about which we did not know how close to its end was, because there are photographs here even from the moment of 1914 - plus that the last visit of the czar abroad in 1918 happened to be in Romania - and we discover two families - the royal and the czarist - with a smile on their lips, not knowing that in less than a month their world will be destroyed by war and, more importantly, an imperial family, with a power that seemed unshakable, will only remain in the books of history," Director of the Brasov County Museum of History Nicolae Pepene told the opening of the exhibition.

Natalya Muzhennikova of the Russian Centre in Bucharest pointed out that the Russian archives still contain a number of documents that have not been explored by the Romanian researchers, which is why she has invited them to make use of these resources.

"Our problem was not gathering the pictures, but selecting them, to be representative for the Royal House of Romania and the Russian Imperial Court, because the pile of pictures that were found in the archives was very rich and it opens another field for those studying history, for researchers, teachers; it is such a large field that no one from Romania has scrutinised. (...) I want to invite historians and researchers from Romania make use more often of the services of our archives, to research our archives more because, if we research more, we study more about our countries, we get closer, we find a common language much faster," said Muzhennikova.

Contributing to the exhibition were three archives from Russia: the St. Petersburg Central State Archives of Cinematographic, Photographic and Audio Documents; the State Archives of the Russian Federation, and the Russian State Film and Photo Archive.

According to Director of the St. Petersburg Central State Archives of Cinematographic, Photographic and Audio Documents Oxana Morozan, the exhibition is part of a large project that includes the exhibition in Brasov and one in Saint Petersburg.

According to Director of the Brasov County Museum of History Pepene, the exhibition can be seen until late March, early April, depending on its itinerary, as it has already been requested to travel the country.

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