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Carmen Sylva Statue, ConstanțaCod 1165

The statuary group representing the first Queen of Romania, Elisabeth, poetess-queen Carmen Sylva with a nymph seated at her feet is made by the Dobrudjan sculptor Ion Jalea (1887-1983) and was unveiled on 15 August 1937, during the ceremonies held on the Navy Day. The inaugural event was attended by King Carol II (1893-1953), the speech being made by the lawyer Alexander Osvald Teodoreanu (1894-1964), known in the literary world under the pseudonym Păstorel Teodoreanu, who, at that time was holding an official position within the Ministry of Cults and Public Instructions. Innate speaker, the epigramist made a very nice speech related to the role of Queen Elizabeth as patron of arts.

Years passed, and, once with the communist regime, the poetesse-queen – and her muse – has not found her place on the pedestal. The statue of Queen Elizabeth was thrown back and forth, ending up being relegated in the basement of the Museum of Sculpture “Ion Jalea” – established during 1968, through the works donated by the artist, being currently subsection of the Museum of Art.

THE QUEEN TURNED INTO A SIMPLE WOMAN The statue remained on the pedestal until 1948, when it was taken down and thrown in different places. It got to the basement of the Museum “Ion Jalea”, unknown by anyone. Within the museum inventories, the statue was recorded as “Statue of woman.” This way, within the inventories of our museum were “housed” a series of works in order to survive, such as the statue of Queen Elizabeth, or the statue of Queen Mary, by Oscar Han.

As a sign of the horrors experienced,  the statue of the Queen had on its back the  traces of a bullet from the Second World War. “After 1990, we tried to inform the public opinion on the existence of this statue. It had a bullet hole on the back, that was willingly restored by our colleague from the National Museum of History and Archaeology from Constanţa, Dan Ionescu. During the war  a lot of things happened in the port area ”

Instead of the Queen and her muse, during 1961, there was arranged another sculpture made by Ion Jalea, an “Archer” of stone. Last year, the statue of Queen Carmen Sylva was placed back on the pedestal where it belonged.

The statue of Queen Elizabeth was built upon the initiative of a committee after abandoning the plan of building a monument dedicated to King Carol I (1839-1914), to whom Dobrudja owes its reintegration into Romania’s borders. It was thought as a  duty of Constanţa to build a monument dedicated to Carol I. Eventually, this have not been achieved, especially since war started. Then a committee of initiative was thought to erect a statue of the Queen Carmen Sylva and  to place it in a very strategic spot. From the cliff, where it was placed, she looked directly to the offshore, towards the Royal Pavilion (Editor’s note – named by her successor, Queen Mary, “Queen’s Nest”), built during 1910 following the plans of Anghel Saligny, upon the suggestion and discussion he had with the king Carol I, about a place that would be helpful for the queen from the  point of view of health and poetic inspiration.


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