Oct 282009

Versiune în română

I guess most of you are familiar with the famous statue of the Capitoline Wolf, the symbol of the founding of Rome. The statue depicts the twin brothers Romulus and Remus suckling on a she wolf. The original sits in Museo Nuovo in the Palazzo dei Conservatori on Rome’s Campidoglio. There is still a debate going on regarding its attribution and dating. I can’t help the debate regarding the origin of Rome’s Capitoline Wolf, but I think I can tell you where Bucharest’s She Wolf (Lupoaica in Romanian) came from. This statue was a gift from the city of Rome given to Bucharest in 1906 with the occasion of the “General Exhibition of Romania” (also named “Jubilee National Exhibition”) which marked three events: 40 years since the crowning of King Carol I as the ruler of Romania, 25 years since the Proclamation of Independence by the Romanian Kingdom, and 1,800 years since the emperor Trajan’s colonization of Dacia (current day Romania) in 106. The exhibition, modelled after the World Fair that took place in Paris in 1900, was located in Carol I Park and was intended to show the progresses made by Romania in different areas: politics, culture etc. The statue was first displayed at the Roman Arenas in Carol Park. After this short moment of glory, the poor She Wolf was moved from one place to another, all around Bucharest. From the Roman Arenas the statue was taken to St. George Square (Piaţa Sfântul Gheorghe in Romanian) only to be relocated again on the Metropolitan Church Hill in 1931. While there, she was the reason of a little controversy because some inventive mind came up with the idea that the She Wolf has its back to the altar, being totally impolite in that regard. So in 1965 it was moved again to a little park in the Dorobanţi Square. Finally, in 1997 it was brought to its current location, a corner of the Roman Square (Piaţa Romană in Romanian) in downtown Bucharest. But the story doesn’t end here. To top it all off, the mayor of Bucharest announced a few months ago – among some protests – that he is thinking of moving it again by the end of the year, this time close to its original location in St. George Square. But so far the She Wolf still sits in the Roman Square, watching patiently the nightmarish traffic of Bucharest and probably staring at the huge Coca Cola bottle that’s been dominating the square for the last two years.

  9 Responses to “Bucharest’s She Wolf”

  1. Looks like the milk parlor is open for business!

  2. Kind of sad for the statue. Thanks for sharing the history along with the photo! I learned something new today.

  3. A very interesting post, I knew nothing of this wandering She Wolf. And the story continues…

  4. It must be a huge job to move the she wolf. It doesn't look like a great spot where it is now in the midst of traffic and I hope the mayor can find it an appropriate place for it to stay.

    I'm surprised Romania has such a close association with Rome but I guess your language and the name of your country is Latin based so I guess the Romans did have a huge influence in the past.

  5. I like the snippets of Romanian history we get in this blog. I also like the asides about coke adverts and traffic. Although, I have never met an inhabitant of a big city that did not complain about the local traffic.

  6. Thanks everybody for their nice comments.

    Stine: That's the reason the mayor invoked when he proposed moving it. Apparently there were a few accidents in the square when cars ran into the wolf statue. I don't know how many there were (I don't watch TV regularly) but they're saying that in the new location the statue would be protected.

    AB: Thanks a lot for the nice words. If there ever was a city that fitted the cliche description of "city of contrasts" than Bucharest is that city. I'm trying to show a bit of these contrasts. As for traffic, you are right, citizens of big cities always complain about traffic.

  7. I’ve seen this statue before…she is beautiful…no ties to lupe garou at all? What about the church? The one with the wolves…i must find more info! Help please.

  8. I has been moved now again. It is now in Bvd Ion C. Bratianu (btw Universitate and Unirii) looking at … a giant pepsi bottles.

  9. does anyone no anything about small capitoline she wolf bronze statue without the twins…i have one but cant find any info on it i think it is very old

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