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Bran Castle

Bran Castle

The misunderstandings between Romania’s Ministry of Culture and Dominic Habsburg, the head of the family that now owns the castle, left the museum in an uncertain territory, even after at the end of January they seemed to have come to an agreement. They decided at that date to continue having the castle functioning as a museum, under private ownership, with the state providing the specialist personnel to run it.  For details see my previous post “Bran castle given back to Princess Ileana’s descendants”.

Domnic Habsburg arrived at the end of March in Romania to probably deal with that situation in person and can be listen in the news footage bellow (the others speakers tell the reporter in Romanian about the removal of the royal heritage objects to the nearby museum, also some visitors express their disappointed about the empty castle). Dominic Habsburg hopes to replenish the castle with objects sometime in the future and have it returned to the touristic circuit, but without having on display its royal heritage furniture and other objects. ©Diana Mandache

I have just received today (28 May 2009) a message from Mr Mark Meyer , lawyer at Herzfeld & Rubin, P.C., with the following content:

In January, it seemed that an agreement had been reached to maintain the collections at Bran at the expense of the children of Princess Ileana keeping all of the employees on salaries entirely paid for by the family. Then Mr. Paleologu insisted that an additional fee in excess of € 9,000 per month be paid to the Ministry for the right of the family to display the property stolen from them by the Romanian government in 1948. In my view, it is obscene to ask the victims of a theft to pay a rental to the thief just to display their own personal property, particularly in circumstances where it is in a public service. To me, it is unseemly for a Minister to barter in stolen goods – albeit not ones returnable as of right in Romania (although in most civilized countries, a conversion of this magnitude remains actionable). Mr. Paleologu apparently believed otherwise and proceeded to sack Bran Castle of everything, doing more damage than the communists ever did. He striped the castle even of its lighting, all in an act that I regard to be cultural vandalism.  That “local law firm appointed to manage the affairs of the castle” is not managing the castle – that is being done by a management company; but the firm has seen to it that all of the employees not taken by Mr. Paleologu for his museum remained at Bran Castle, and it has done an incredible job of fixing the damage wrought by Mr. Paleologu, restoring the castle almost to a level equal to the pre-communist era, and creating new an exciting displays and events. It is only the beginning of the effort to make Bran Castle a world destination point.


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