The National History Museum of Romania. “Bessarabia 1812-1947. People, places, frontiers”
The exhibition commemorates two hundred years since the annexation by the Russian Empire of the eastern half of the old principality of Moldavia. The event is produced in partnership with the Romanian Cultural Institute and can be viewed until the end of June2012. Aversion of this exhibition will also be opened in Chisinau and in several other towns in the Republic Moldova.
Two centuries ago, on 16 (Julian style)/ 28 May1812, inBucharest, at the Manuc’s Inn, representatives of the Russian and the Ottoman empires signed a treaty that ended the Russian – Turkish war of 1806 – ‘12, which resulted in the annexation of Bessarabia by the Tsarist Empire. The exhibition brings in premiere together old maps, documents, images and publications, which detail the diplomatic milestones and detail the often dramatic evolution of the frontiers and society of that province. The main topics presented are: historical map of Bessarabia before and after 1812, the annexation by the Russian Empire through the Treaty of Bucharest of 1812, recovery of southern Bessarabia after the Crimean War, following the decisions of the Congress of Paris (1856), loss of Southern Bessarabia through the stipulations of the Congress of Berlin (1878), which followed the Russian-Romanian-Turkish war, union of Bessarabia with Romania (1918), the recognition of that union by the Allied Powers (1920), Bessarabia between the wars, Soviet occupation of 1940, following the Molotov – Ribbentrop Pact, Romania’s liberation campaign of 1940-1941, the Paris Peace Conference of 1946-1947 and the Peace Treaty between the Allied and Associated Powers and Romania.
This exhibition has been assembled thanks to the collaboration of the following institutions and people: the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Romania, the Romanian National Archives, the National Library of Romania and the private collectors Valentin Mandache, Mădălin Ghigeanu, Diana Mandache, Lucreţiu Tudoroiu, Cristian Scăiceanu.
The event is accompanied by a 156 page catalogue, which for the first time details documents and images illustrating the upheavals and tragic border changes ofBessarabiasubsequent to dictates or treaties and protocols concluded at peace congresses and conferences, the inhabitants and places within this important geopolitical space. The documents exhibited were sourced from the National Museum of History ofRomania, the Archive of the Foreign Ministry, the National Archives, the State Archives of Turkey inIstanbul, the National Library of Romania and the private collectors already mentioned.
The historic sources presented at the exhibition “Bessarabia1812-1947. People, places, frontiers” endeavour to convey to the contemporary public, as is effectively and accurately possible, the portrait of the Romanians of Bessarabia, their daily universe over the last two centuries. Knowing the history of the Bessarabian Romanians, the natural and human landscape of the eastern province of old Moldavia is now more necessary than ever, in the light of the dramatic consequences of foreign domination inaugurated with the treaty of 1812, which resulted in the artificial division and alienation of the Romanians living on both banks of the river Pruth, the ignorance of their common roots of language, civilization and destiny.
Diana & Valentin Mandache