Also called the “Villa of unrest” and the “Villa with bells” of Doctor Nicolae Minovici, the museum reopens its gate after a century, with its friends nearby: the “Dr. Mina Minovici” National Institute of Forensic Medicine and the “Francisc I. Rainer” Institute of Anthropology, part of the Romanian Academy. Brothers Mina and Nicolae Minovici were the founders and directors of the National Institute of Forensic Medicine (1892), the first institution of its kind, designed at such standards that they still influence the field of forensics to this day.
One century since its inauguration, in 1906, Dr. Nicloae Minovici’s villa re-opens to the community after having undergone a laborious process of consolidation, rehabilitation and restoration, process which took 2 years (2014-2015), including the villa park. The re-opening of the building represents one of the projects successfully completed by the Bucharest Municipality City Hall during the past years, projects related to the cultural and touristic status of Bucharest. The opening day will be Wednesday, May 18th 2016, at 18:30, on the occasion of the International Day of Museums.
The inaugural exhibition, conceived by Dr. Adrian Majuru, manager of the Bucharest Municipality Museum, is built around the medical pioneering of the Minovici brothers and of their generation. Their story is integrated within a larger phenomenon that refers to the history of medicine in Bucharest, including older historical periods.
Thusly, the exhibition “The Minovici Brothers – on medical pioneering and the spiritual Universe” presents for the very first time items from the “Dr. Mina Minovici” National Institute of Forensic Medicine’s didactic museum of pathologic anatomy, such as the collection of tattoos preserved on human skin, collected by Mina and Nicolae Minovici since the 19th century. Four of these are newly identified thanks to a case study of Professor Francisc I. Rainer, produced in 1920, also presented in the exhibition. The forensic medicine kit that had belonged to Dr. Nicolae Minovici, the microscope used by the brothers, as well as other documents tied to their scientific activity are also exhibited.
Other renowned figures of medicine, such as Victor Babeş and Gheorghe Marinescu, complete the stories of Mina, Nicolae and Ştefan Minovici in the present exhibition. In what concerns the building, Dr. Nicolae Minovici’s villa was also called the “villa of unrest” by the man himself, as he always retired within its walls to work on his projects. His residence was located within the “Salvarea” Society land, around the area of today’s Izvor Park. He coordinated the society from its founding in 1906 until the last years of his life, in 1941. “The villa with bells” was designed to have the role of headquarters. During the early 20th century, Mina and Nicolae Minovici were collaborating institutionally and personally with the European world of medicine, and visits from foreign medical professionals were a common occurrence.
To complete the image of Romania, a country that was rapidly modernising after 1860 but still represented an exotic and little known space for many of the European cultural and scientific partners, Nicolae Minovici decided to dedicate himself to a project which would exemplify the authenticity of his country. This project took the shape of the Museum of National Art, hosted by one of the first neo-Romanian style buildings in Bucharest, designed by architect Cristofi Cerchez. After 1906 all the external collaborators of the Romanian medical sphere were invited to the “villa of unrest” to become acquainted with part of Romania’s culture.
One century later, the Bucharest Municipality Museum invites you to rediscover the “Villa with bells” of Dr. Nicolae Minovici. The exhibition will be open to visitors from May 18th 2016 to June 25th 2017 (from Wednesday to Sunday, 10:00-18:00).