Following criticism that it wouldn’t let actors publicly express their support for Ukrainian artists who have been casualties of the Russian invasion, the Bucharest National Theater has responded by broadcasting a message of peace.
Peace symbols were projected on the National Theater facade for several hours Saturday evening.
The video light show which featured works by ‘Artists United for Peace’ was set to music and had messages such as “Stop war, make art” and „There is no way to peace, peace is the way.”
The images were beamed on the background of the Romanian flag which lit up the giant façade in downtown Bucharest.
The move came after Romanian actor Mihai Călin said he and a colleague had been planning to make a short speech about Ukrainian artists who had been affected by the war.
He said the acting director stopped him from doing that. He accused him of having a “total lack of understanding about the role of theater.”
Several actors and a male ballet dancer have been killed in the hostilities. The Mariupol Theater where hundreds of people who had taken shelter was bombed by Russia on Wednesday.
Acting director Mircea Rusu told B1 TV that the theater which is Romania’s biggest was willing to help refugees but wouldn’t fly the Ukrainian flag.
He said that when Romania reunified with Transylvania in 1918 “people swore that the only flag that could be hoisted was the Romanian one.”
Romania has some restrictions regarding the flying of other states’ flags on public buildings. Foreign flags can be hoisted next to the Romanian flag on certain occasions.