Dozens of residents demanding a stake in their community’s future have protested plans to shut a historical museum and build a Dracula theme park in its place.
The village museum, which features traditional houses from different regions of Romania, is located next to the iconic Bran Castle which is linked to the Dracula legend.
The fictional Count Dracula inspired by the medieval prince Vlad the Impaler is a big draw for tourists to Romania in general and Bran Castle in Transylvania in particular. One million tourists visited the castle in 2018.
But a court has awarded the land that the museum stands on to private owners following a lengthy lawsuit. There are plans to build a Dracula Land theme park instead.
On Wednesday, dozens of people, local residents and museum employees of the museum, staged a protest calling on authorities to save the museum. They started a petition that has so far been signed by some 7,100 people.
Protesters are demanding the culture ministry buys the land from its current owners and preserves the museum in its current place.
Daniel Apostol, head of the ethnography section at the Bran National Museum, said the new owners have obtained a court order to close the museum.
The land was initially restituted to pre-communist owners after a 15-year court case. They then sold it to the former mayor of Bran, who sold it to relatives.
“The museum is classed as a historical monument,” Apostol said. “It has been an ethnographic park since 1960…. Now we are facing its destruction, he told Hotnews.
He said some of the houses were more than 250 years old and relocation would destroy them.