The first museum in Romania dedicated to Roma culture opened on February 18, at the District 6 City Hall in Bucharest, two days before Roma people celebrate the Abolition of Roma Slavery.
Two associations, Romano ButiQ and KCMC, in partnership with the District 6 City Hall and the National School for Politic and Administrative Studies (SNSPA) worked together to create the museum.
A launch event took place at the Romanian Peasant Club in Bucharest.
The need for the museum was rooted in the deeply prejudiced public discussions about Roma and their culture, often confronted with stereotyping. The museum’s founders promise it will not have only a series of artifacts related to the Roma culture, but a dynamic conglomerate of ideas and stories, illustrated through objects, installations and people, so as to generate debate on all levels of society.
February 20 is the official day of Roma Freedom in Romania, as acknowledged via law in 2011. Roma were freed from slavery in Romania on February 20, 1856, by Prince Barbu Stirbei.
According to the 2011 census, Romania has 619,000 Roma, but NGOs argue that many chose not to reveal their ethnicity, and that the real number of Roma living in Romania is closer to 1.2 million, in a country with a population of around 19 million people.