Several members of the Romanian parliament representing Temes (Timiş) County have recognized that there might be a window for obtaining public funds for the refurbishment and revival of a number of cultural institutions in the city of Temesvár (Timişoara, Temeswar), the county seat. Temesvár is the designated European Capital of Culture for the year 2021, alongside Elefsina in Greece and Novi Sad in the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, Serbia.
This is the second time that Romania will host the European Capital of Culture; Nagyszeben (Sibiu, Hermannstadt) received the honor in 2007. The government has already issued a decree determining the financial measures that would promote the development of Temesvár, as it will hold the flattering title.
Almost a dozen MPs of the county have joined forces, so to speak, and submitted a series of amendments to the list of the investments that are to be financed from the state budget.
MPs of Temes submitted names of institutions that need to be renovated and reshaped with new functions, and they asked for an additional EUR 24 million from the state budget for culture. They plan to restore and recondition the building of the “Banatul” Philharmonics, two well-known cinemas, and the county library; provide new functions for the former dermatology clinic of Temesvár by transforming it into a multicultural space; and upgrade the thermal equipment of the Palace of Culture as well as partially refurbish the space on its ground level.
The European Capitals of Culture initiative is certainly designed to regenerate cities, raise their international profile, and revive their cultural infrastructure. It is reassuring that these politicians seem to have realized this and were able to get past their political colors. The MPs who have signed the amendments to the government decree belong to three different parties, two of which are major political adversaries in large-scale politics: the Social Democrats and the National Liberals. The first one is – at the moment – the governing party, whilst the other is the leader of the opposition. In fact, Liberals and other parties of the parliamentary opposition just handed in a motion of no confidence against the government last week, and the vote on it is actually due this Thursday.
Title image: The Palace of Culture is to be refurbished as well by the amendment of the MPs