in Bucharest: the Revival's Memorial
The Revival’s Memorial is a memorial in Bucharest that commemorates the struggles and victims of the Romanian Revolution of 1989, which overthrew Communism. The memorial complex was inaugurated in August 2005 in Revolution Square, where Nicolae Ceauşescu, the Romania's Communist-era dictator, was publicly overthrown in December 1989.
Though officially called the Memorial of Rebirth, locals have given this monument a few unusual nicknames. It’s most commonly referred to as the “Potato on a Stick” or “Potato on a Skewer” monument, though some others compare the giant blob being pierced to an olive or a brain.
According to the website Atlas Oscura "the Revolution Square features four parts of the monument. A small, paved area allows visitors to mourn and contemplate. There’s also the Wall of Remembrance, which holds a brass plate containing the names of all the victims of the violent events that occured in December 1989 that led to the arrest and execution of communist dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu and his wife. The Path to Triumph, an alley leading to the main pyramid, is paved with slices of oak trunks meant to symbolize strength and durability.
But it’s the monument’s centerpiece that garners the most attention. The white, marble obelisk has three sides and is surrounded by several statues representing the shadows of the people who wanted freedom and democracy. The rounded, nest-like structure the pyramid skewers is meant to represent the martyrs’ sacrifices.
In 2012, someone threw some red paint at the base of the “potato.” The vandalism left a red smudge that dripped down the facade, which somehow completes the symbolism of the monument. It was never erased by the authorities. The monument was heavily criticized for being a mix of incompatible artistic elements and for being too kitschy. It also cost nearly $2 million2."
These photos were taken in March 2019 during the visit to the Revival’s Memorial and show some views of the memorial and the statue of the Romanian politician Iuliu Maniu (1873-1953) made by the artist Mircea Spătaru. Iuli Maniu was the the Prime Minister of Romania for three terms during 1928–1933. He was an adversary of Russian influence and for this reason he was imprisoned in 1947 when the communists came to power. He died in 1953 in Sighet prison.
This visit to the memorial was connected to the travelling seminar “Romania’s entangled traumatic pasts”organized by the EUROM / European Observatory of Memories and the Faculty of Political Sciences of the University of Bucharest. According to the official website of EUROM this travelling seminar “dealed with the memories of the Holocaust and the communist past in Romania and consisted of a series of speeches and guided visits to some of the most emblematic places of commemoration and memorialization in Bucharest and Jilava. It was co-organized by the EUROM and the Faculty of Political Sciences of the University of Bucharest and included the participation of master students and experts from the University of Bucharest and the University of Barcelona.