THE HISTORY OF MONETARY CIRCULATION IN BUCHAREST AND ITS SURROUNDINGS

The coin represents a valuable historical document that offers information regarding the political, economic, religious, cultural and artistic realities of the period it was minted in, managing to contain both a written message through the text offered by its legend and an iconographic one through the representations on its surface.

The project The History of monetary circulation in Bucharest and its surroundings represents a continuation of the series of thematic exhibitions which debuted in 2013 within the George Severeanu Museum, meeting the demands of the public requesting to admire the collections hosted by the aforementioned museum. Thus, the exhibition will feature representative items that are a part of the three collections that belong to the Bucharest Municipality Museum. The “Maria and Dr. George Severeanu” Collection, donated to the municipality by radiologist George Severeanu, a passionate collector of antiquities and first director of the Bucharest Municipality Museum, and later on by his wife Maria, encompasses several categories of artefacts, the majority of which are items from the numismatic collection – around 9000 pieces from almost all historical periods.

The Bucharest Municipality Museum’s Numismatic Collection is formed of almost 40 000 coins, generally from archaeological sites managed throughout the years by groups of specialists from the Museum, but also from chance findings. Bills are also an important feature of the collection. A large part of the collection was put together thanks to generous donations from the second half of the 20th century. The collection features pieces from almost all historical periods. Certain important treasures uncovered in Bucharest and its surroundings, veritable historic resources in what concerns monetary circulation during the medieval period, are also featured within the collection. It is the case of the treasures found in Gâşteşti (Giurgiu County, Gratia (Teleorman County), Colțea, Calea Plevnei, Sala Palatului, Cărămidarii de Jos, The Old Princely Court, N. Tonitza Street (Bucharest).

The collection conventionally named Para-numismatica (Exonumia – numismatic items other than coins and paper money) of the Bucharest Municipality Museum encompasses about 20 000 objects structured in several subcategories such as medals and plaques, insignia, decorations, sigils, documents of incontestable value for the modern period.

Starting with their historic, documentary and memorial importance of the three collections, the project aims to present an important part of the rich numismatic material in combination with documentary and illustrative materials – a reconstruction of monetary circulation in Bucharest and its surroundings.

The exhibition organised by the Bucharest Municipality Museum is open to visitors at the George Severeanu Museum (Henri Coanda Str., No. 26, district 1), between August 10th 2016 – April 2nd 2017. The exhibition will be inaugurated on August 10th at 19:00.

Dr. Dan Pîrvulescu

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