To: the Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta, the General Secretariat of the Government of Romania, the Speaker of the Senate of Romania, and the Permanent Bureau of the Senate of Romania.

From: Edward Foster, president, Talisman House, Publishers, LLC

Date: 22 June 2012

The Romanian Cultural Institute, as presently constituted, has been enormously effective in promoting Romania and Romanian culture around the world. Romanian films, art, and literature have benefited hugely from the Institute’s work. Talisman House, Publishers, of which I am the president, has been the recipient of much needed and appreciated advice and support toward the publication not only of two anthologies of Romanian poetry but also a translation of Panait Istrati’s great novel, Kyra Kyralina, the first translation to be completed and published in English in more than three-quarters of a century.

The Romanian Cultural Institute has clearly played a powerful role in bringing Romania and Romanian culture to the world’s attention. Rumors have reached us that consideration has been given to reshaping the Institute and its work. I hope that these rumors are false. The work that the Institute has accomplished is critical in maintaining Romania’s place as a cultural leader in the world today.


June 24, 2012

To the Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta

To the General Secretariat of the Government of Romania

To the Speaker of the Senate of Romania, Mr. Vasile Blaga

To the Permanent Bureau of the Senate of Romania


Dear Gentlemen,

As a representative of an American arts organization, I am writing to express my concern over the current Romanian government’s proposal to change the mission and tutelage of the Romanian Cultural Institutes.

I beg you to recognize the excellent, accountable, efficient and effective work that the ICRs have been doing and to leave their mission, independence and tutelage the way it is now.

We at the Palm Springs Film Festival and our audiences have learned about the beauty of Romanian culture through these Institutes; we have learned of the richness of contemporary thought in Romania and we have had the good fortune to ‘discover’ and work with the finest of both young and accomplished Romanian filmmakers… all thanks to the independent Romanian Cultural Institutes.

With far less resources than other state cultural institutes, ICR has accomplished a truly admirable task of putting Romanian art and artists onto a very competitive international cultural map in a relatively short period. This is in a very large part due to the innovative approaches of addressing international cultural markets exercised during the presidency of Horia-Roman Patapievici.

Like the Goethe and French Institutes, the British Council and many more, the Romanian Cultural Institutes form a precious neutral space for international cultural exchange, supporting the emergence and development of international cultural collaboration and exchange. Like the other cultural institutes, the ICR’s correct stereotypes, support talent, internationalize careers, spread the understanding of the best of their cultures.

Yours sincerely,

Alissa Simon, Senior Programmer

Palm Springs International Film Festival