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Promoting the heritage of cemeteries
Bellu cemetery in Bucharest

2010 Romania adhered to the Association of Significant Cemeteries in Europe, under the efforts of Mariana Nitu (now deceased). The "Ion Mincu" University of Architecture and Urbanism where she was doctoral candidate promotes the heritage of the cemetery with a series of books, the latest launched at the Romanian Architecture Biennale. Also the ASCE appreciated the effort, and the 2015 Annual General Meeting will be hold in Bucharest.

Bellu catholic cemetery - main alley
Maria Bostenaru Dan 2015 / CC BY
Bellu catholic cemetery - main alley
If centuries long people used to be burried around churches, the arrival of the park cemetery marked a movement with establishment of significant cemeteries in several cities, including some planned by known landscape architects. The landscape research centre at Harvard, Dumberton Oaks, dedicated a volume to memorial landscapes including cemeteries. After with 2014 a series of events for memorial landscapes given by the 100th anniversary of WWI started, we consider worthy mentioning this. 2014 was not also the anniversary of WWI, but for Romania also 25 years since the Revolution in 1989, the anniversary of which was the 21st of December. The Bellu cemetery contains more sections, including the Cemetery of the heroes, and the Catholic cemetery (see image) apart of the Orthodox cemetery to which the books are dedicated.
In Bucharest such a park cemetery is the one also called the garden of Barbu Bellu. Mariana Nitu, a doctoral candidate of the "Ion Mincu" University of Architecture and Urbanism, working on this topic of memorial places promoted the adherence of the Bellu cemetery to the Association of Significant Cemeteries in Europe, as first cemetery adhering to it from Romania. However, there are also other significant cemeteries in Romania, the best known being the Merry Cemetery in Maramures. Rural cemeteries also receive attention a cultural project being dedicated to such from the county of Timis in 2014.
After the death of Mariana Nitu the university continued the efforts and so far published two volumes and is continuing with a third on the cemetery (see literature). The second volume was launched at the end of the Romanian Architecture Biennale, along with the museum of the university.
The "Lost gardens" project (see in the Le Notre database led by Cerasella Craciun and funded by the Romanian Union of Architects dealt also with archive research on the Bellu cemetery, starting at the initial function. Responsible for the garden research of the Bellu cemetery was Irina Cioangher, part of the exhibition team. In a third volume which is under preparation, photography of sculptures and also articles on the landscape of cemeteries will be included.
For 2015 the ASCE choose to hold the Annual General Meeting in Bucharest, which received a wide media echo.

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03. Jan 2015
Reported by Maria BOSTENARU DAN


cemetery (en), burial ground 1 (en), graveyard (en), memorials (en), burial ground 1 (en), graveyard (en), Events (en), burial ground 1 (en), graveyard (en)

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