At the origin of modem sculpture there is another Romanian who became famous in Paris, Constantin Brancusi (1876 – 1957). The rebel student of Auguste Rodin, Brancusi is the artist who propelled the Romanian traditional forms into universal modernity, the household elements and folk objects being the basis used by the sculptor in order to create a new space for Western sculpture. In Paris, France, the studio of Constantin Brancusi is still one of the attractions at the Contemporary Art Center “Georges Pompidou”, and in Tg-Jiu, Romania, there can be found the sculptural complex for which Brancusi created the Endless Column, The Kiss Gate and The Silence Table.
Today, the picturesque of traditional Romania which gathers hundreds of thousands of people around monasteries and churches during religious holidays combines in a natural way with the world of luxurious hotels, with the glass walls of modem buildings, but also with the monumental architecture of the end of the 19th century and of the first half of the 20th century and the modernist touches imposed in that period.
The almost 50 television programs that appeared in Bucharest alone after 1989, as well as the defining of Romanian cities as metropolises which succeed in putting forward major cultural events, offer an image on the dynamism and effervescence of the Romanian cultural life. Two of the most important cultural festivals in Romania take place at Sibiu, at a 282 km distance from Bucharest (the International Theatre Festival) and at Cluj-Napoca, at a 426 km distance from Bucharest (The “Transylvania” International Film Festival).
The year 2007 brings forward, in the period September 1 – September 23, in Bucharest, the 18th edition of the “George Enescu” International Festival and Contest, one of the biggest classical music events in Southeastern Europe.
Furthermore, this year also brought forth the appointment of Sibiu as European capital of culture, together with Luxembourg. The arguments for this choice cannot be contradicted. The traditions, the history and importance of this town place the old Hermannstadt and the present-day Sibiu in the center of cultural attention on the old continent. The main advantage of Sibiu is the multi-cultural character of the town, the congenial cohabitation of the Romanian, German and Hungarian ethnic cultures. Moreover, the approx. nine centuries of urban history of cultural, artistic and scientific life, the impressive number of existing cultural events, known world-wide, the long-lasting connection to European values, an old and intense relation with Luxembourg – the metropolis of Szeckler colonists who set the basis of Sibiu at the beginning of the 12th century – and the German language
The Romanian Athenaeum – Bucharest environment the favorable economic conditions, which make possible the huge expenses related to infrastructure and cultural programs, all these convinced the international jury. Among the events planned by the organizers in 2007 we mention: the Extraordinary Scala Concert from Milan )25th, 26th of February), the “Brukenthal Baron, Homo Europaeus” exhibition (open until the end of the year); ASTRA Film Fest – 365 windows to the world (non-stop cinematheque program; January -December 2007); Sibiu Jazz Festival (May 6- May 13); The International Theatre Festival (May 15 -June 10), Sibiu Dance 2007 (September 15 -October 15); You can find the complete program of events dedicated to Sibiu – 2007 European capital by accessing the address www.sibiu2007.com.
The tourist and cultural offer is completed by the title “Danube Delta – European landscape of the year”, an acknowledgement of the heavenly beauty of the landscapes of the largest biosphere reserve in Europe.
The admission of Romania to the European Union, on January 1, 2007, coincided with the assertion of a gallery of creators which present the paradoxes of present-day Romania.
The director Cristi Puiu was awarded a prize at the Cannes Film Festival, in 2005, for the film “The Death of Mr. Lazarescu”. Even though many people have considered that the film presents a purely Romanian reality, the story filmed by Puiu was well received in the United States, as well as in Great Britain, where it received awards or was nominated among the best films of the year. In 2006, also at Cannes, the director Comeliu Porumboiu was awarded the “Europe Cinemas” label, for a film which deals with the impact of the 1989 Revolution in a small town from Eastern Romania. In addition to the affirmation of local films, Romania became one of the favorite places for shooting international film productions.