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The Banality of Preservation: Institutionalized Heritage-Making and the Politics of Scarcity in the Socialist City. Romania, 1945-1977

The CEU Campus
Wednesday, October 26, 2016, 5:30 pm

The talk examines the rise of the historic town on the preservationist agenda in socialist Romania, and the attempts of integrating it into the modernizing agenda of the state. It presents an overview of planning and preservation as part of urban redevelopment strategies under state socialism and shows the extent to which the Romanian case fits into and diverges from broader stories of urban modernization in the postwar decades. Two cases of heritage-making will be discussed- the Bánffy Palace in Cluj and Casa Dosoftei in Iaşi. These challenge the assumption that preservation measures could be more efficiently enforced under socialism due to the centralized character of the state. A grass-root perspective is used in order to explore how institutional fragmentation, the uneven distribution of power, property regimes, and various forms of scarcity were entangled in the process of turning old buildings into monuments.

Liliana Iuga is a doctoral candidate in the Department of History at CEU. She studied history and art history in Cluj-Napoca (Romania) and Perugia (Italy), and was a visiting fellow at the Centre for Urban History at the University of Leicester (UK). The talk is based on her recently completed dissertation with the title Reshaping the Historic City under Socialism: State Preservation, Urban Planning, and the Politics of Scarcity in Romania (1945-1977).  

All students, faculty and staff members are welcome to attend!

Drinks to follow

Organized by

Dr Matthias Riedl (Head of Department), Ágnes Kelemen, Iva Jelušić, and Nikola Pantić

CEU Department of History - Budapest, 2016