Address to the mayor Dorin Chirtoacă

5 July 2011

Mayor Dorin Chirtoacă
City of Chişinău

RE: The 26 May 2011 Petition to save the sculptural exposition “Rugina & Co./Secolul XX”.

Dear Mayor Chirtoacă,

On May 26, 2011 you received a petition (see enclosed) signed by 1189 residents of 34 countries demanding actions in regards to granting the internationally acclaimed sculptural exposition Rugina & Co./Secolul XX the official status (Created by Nicolae Ischimji and Valeri Moshkov, 1985-2011), located at Gidigici St., 3. The copies of the above petition were addressed to the Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova, the Acting President of the Republic of Moldova, and to the Parliamentary Cultural Committee. The above-mentioned offices have already responded to our petition. The Institute of Cultural Heritage of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Moldova (RM) has written a letter, in which it agrees with our request and fully supports our initiative (see enclosed). Additionally, Mr. Focşa, the RM Secretary of Culture, has corresponded directly with your Office, detailing in his letter the RM Department of Cultural Affairs’ recommendation to create an Interdepartmental Committee to establish the artistic value of the exposition.

At the same time, we have yet to receive a reply to our petition from your Office. We assume that your inaction regarding this issue means that you are in complete agreement with our initiatives. In addition, we very much hope that you will promptly undertake all the necessary measures required to provide the exposition with its appropriate official status. We also hope that you will be able to support the interests of one of its authors, Nicolae Ischimji, that were violated by certain employees of your Office. We trust your deepest consideration and responsibility in acknowledging the demands of more than 1280 art experts and art connoisseurs from 35 different countries of the world. (We still are in the process of collecting signatures.)

We would like to bring to your attention a number of serious gaps in the structure and operation of several departments under your supervision, which is quite bothersome to us:

1. According to the Mayor’s Office, the petition, filed by the Vice Mayor N. Grozavu, which mainly discusses a cultural question, is filed in the Department of Economy, Reform and Municipal Property, as well as in the Department of Legal Assistance, and NOT in the Municipal Department of Cultural Affairs. We think that the first two above-mentioned departments are not competent enough to deal with our issue. The Municipal Department of Cultural Affairs was not even aware of the problems surrounding the sculptural exposition that we regard as a cultural asset for the city of Chişinău.

2. For no apparent reason, the Department of Legal Assistance received a copy of our petition WITHOUT any attachments (e.g. Legal Memo on the History of the Dispute, References from different art unions, Recommendations from art experts). As a result, and according with the Section 8 of the Law of Filing Petitions, the 30-day limit of the petition’s assessment passed and the responsible parties of your Office (Diana Gurschi, Ana Cozacu) have not even read it.

3. The petition’s filing in the Department of Municipal Property is directly against the Law of Filing Petitions/Complaints, which clearly states, “It is prohibited to file a complaint within the establishment, whose actions are being protested.” Moreover, the Buiucani States Attorney’s Office, along with the Buiucani Law Enforcement Office are currently investigating the facts in regards to unlawful actions (vigilantism, illegal capture of property and falsified evidence in a civil lawsuit) of certain employees of the Department of Municipal Property, namely, N. Bolea, Y. Rusnak and I. Dediu. We deem it unlawful and highly unethical to provide these employees with the opportunity to respond to our petition.

4. Albeit the petition’s demand to stop all actions regarding the property located at Gidigici St., 3, Chişinău, the lawsuit “The City of Chişinău vs. Nicolae Ischimji” is still in progress with its objective being to throw Mr. Ischimji out of his art studio. Furthermore, the art studio, with all of Mr. Ischimji’s valuables still inside, has been occupied by the Mayor’s Office employees for a year and a half.

Mr. Mayor,

In regards to all that has been written so far, we ask you:

1. To forward the present petition, along with the one written on 26.05.11, to the Municipal Department of Cultural Affairs, with the purpose of a prompt formation of an interdepartmental committee, spanning your office, as well as the Academy of Sciences of RM and the Department of Cultural Affairs of RM. The objective of this Committee will be to determine the artistic value of the exposition and to bestow it the appropriate official status. It is important to note, that the Academy of Sciences of RM and the Department of Cultural Affairs of RM are already universally supportive of the idea.

2. To relieve Alena Berdila, Nicolae Bolea, Yevgeniy Rusnak and Ion Dediu from partaking any discussions or participating in any decision-making process regarding Mr. Ischimji’s art studio, the land adjacent to it and/or the sculptural exposition, located on the property. Consequently, there is a suspicion that the above-mentioned individuals are involved in this case for their personal gain, which the court is currently trying to determine.

3. To put the legal motion on hold, initiated by the City of Chişinău, Mayor’s Office, brought upon Mr. Ischimji, until all doubts regarding the Office’s employees’ involvement in illegal activities are resolved.

4. To find a mutually convenient time to organize an open meeting between the representatives of our group, the Mayor and the executives from the Municipal Department of Cultural Affairs and the Department of Municipal Property to discuss all pertaining questions in detail. Unfortunately, following a routine procedure for scheduling meetings with the City Mayor, we were unable to secure an audience with you, Mayor Chirtoacă, solely because of one of your councils, V. Popa, refused us this right, having commented that “…so and so Ischimji does not possess any rights for occupying the art studio.”

1) copy of the Petition, written on 26.05.2011;
2) copy of the letter from the Academy of Sciences of RM, Institute of Cultural Heritage, #06/135, written on 22.06.2011.

Representatives of the group initiative to save the sculptural exposition RUGINA & CO / SECOLUL XX, comprising of 1273 individuals from 35 different countries of the world (as of July 4, 2011,

Andrei Hohlov

Irina Grabovan

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