Several visual artists working in the same building in Marosvásárhely (Târgu Mureş, Neumarkt) are worried that they could be evicted from their studios from one year to another – Székelyhon.ro reported. The apartments they rent as their workplaces are located in an 18th-century building managed by the city hall. Local administration is now set to reduce the five-year-term lease to a one-year-long period, and artists say that means an uncertain future for them, at least regarding their spaces of creation.
Rent is set by the housing management company of the city hall, according to the size of the place; the sum is affordable, but artists also have to pay property tax, which is about EUR 100 per year, sculptor István Makkai told the news portal. He has been renting a studio in the building since 2009 and says that if the lease term is reduced, artists will not risk investing in these apartments as they fear it will be money lost.
Mana Bucur, the Maros County president of the Alliance of Professional Visual Artists of Romania told Székelyhon that the organization would like for the local administration to understand that five-year-long contracts are really important in ensuring proper conditions for the artists. “One year is a rather brief period; it is hard to plan anything for such a short term or begin a major work of creation” – pointed out the representative.
On the other hand, the manager of the housing management company, Vasile Filimon, says that the logic behind the one-year-long rentals is that the city hall plans to restore the historic building, and the administration is trying to apply for European funds. When these renovation funds are secured, artists will have to clear out of their studios for the work to begin. He declared to the press that they are looking for a resolution, and that the housing department would provide other spaces for artists to rent, although they do not know yet exactly where.
The historic building in question is several hundred years old; it is located at Bolyai square nr. 5. The form and appearance we see today is a mid 18th-century reconstruction of an older building. Currently, 25 art studios function in the estate, several of which were refurbished by the tenants.
Title image: Artists say they cannot plan for the future if their studios are rented out for only a one-year period