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Tuca Zbarcea & Asociatii Provides Pro Bono Legal Support to Enescu Festival Organizer in Dispute with Historic Auction House

Tuca Zbarcea & Asociatii Provides Pro Bono Legal Support to Enescu Festival Organizer in Dispute with Historic Auction House

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Tuca Zbarcea & Asociatii has provided pro bono legal assistance to George Enescu International Festival organizer Artexim in a dispute with the Historic Auction House in connection with the auctioning of manuscripts and a violin that had presumably belonged to Romanian composer George Enescu.

Artexim is a public institution affiliated with the Romanian Ministry of Culture and the organizer of the George Enescu International Festival and Competition.

In August 2021, Artexim issued a press release announcing it had notified the Ministry of Internal Affairs regarding an auction announced by the Historic Auction House. It requested the verification of the lots' authenticity and provenance and whether auctioning them complies with the legal framework. While expressing some doubts regarding authenticity, Artexim argued that, if indeed authentic, the manuscripts (including the so-called 'manuscript of the Oedipus score') and the violin (which had allegedly belonged to George Enescu) are of national-heritage importance and belong in the state's public collection.

In October, Artexim announced it had "won both the lawsuit and the appeal filed by the Historic Auction House, [seeking] to obtain a presidential ordinance" that would compel Artexim to remove the press release from its website. According to Artexim's announcement, on October 7, 2021, the court of appeal upheld the decision issued on September 13, 2021, by the court of first instance, rejecting the auction house's demands.

According to Artexim, the September 2021 decision found no grounds to strike the press release, as "a public auction with goods that may belong to George Enescu and which can be classified in the mobile national cultural heritage" is a matter of public interest, while finding that the press release itself presented the facts in an impartial manner and included the same information officially sent to the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

The Tuca Zbarcea & Asociatii team included Partner Ioana Hrisafi and Associate Alin Ionescu.

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