Moves are at last underway to restore to their rightful home more than fifty Ottoman Turkish rugs taken fromTransylvania to Germany late in WorldWar II by the Saxon parishioners of the Lutheran Church in Bistrita, Romania. Since 1952, the rugs have been held in storage, ‘on loan’ to the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg.
50 years after the end of WW2, after the fall of the ‘iron curtain’ and of the wall in Berlin, after the ingress of Romania in the EEC it’s time to have the rugs of Bistriţa back in Transylvania at their rightful owner, the Evangelical Parish of Bistriţa, where the Church of the local Saxon community stands.
Read the story of the Ottoman rugs of Bistrita published by HALI issue 160
On June 11 2008a catastrophic fire destroyed the bell-tower of the Bistriţa Church, which was under restoration. The dramatic images of the fire (wh
ich can be seen on YouTube) shocked the whole country and recall the memory of other fires which affected the medi
eval churches such as the one which destroyed in 1689 the Black Church in Braşov, when all the carpets burnt.
The town fell in great des
pair but now the members of the local Evangelical parish with the support of the public administration and with unanimous solidarity started the reconstruction of the damaged sections. They all have a common objective clearly set by the mayor of Bistriţa: in June 2013, on the celebrations of 500 years from its construction, the Evangelical Parish Church will be reopened. And the for the occasion, the 52 rugs of the Parish, which since 1952 are kept in storage in the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg, should return back home.