Read this story from the BBC this morning: Romania Caught Short in Loo Row.
With the NATO summit next month in Bucharest, to be held at the Romanian Parliamentary palace, built by the former dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu, in Bucharest, preparations are well under way. However, while the enormous building–aka, with much irony, the People’s House (casa poporului)–is the second largest in the world behind the Pentagon, and has 1,100 rooms. However, according to the BBC report, NATO has apparently asked to install 1,000 extra toilets (loos), or one for every five delegates, each costing $9,500 (£4,700) a week. A fairly lousy use of taxpayers’ money and, to my understanding, going well beyond the demands of normal building codes. Imagine having as many loos at theatres for intermission (no lines, Ladies!).
The architect of the building, Anca Petrescu, who is still alive, rightly called this “humiliating.”
Measuring 270 metres by 240 metres, and stretching 86 m above ground and as much below ground, the excessive building features nearly 500 chandeliers (many huge) and some 200,000 square metres of carpeting (all according to wikipedia).
Here’s the rub: “Constructing the Palace and Centrul Civic required demolishing much of Bucharest’s historic districts, including two neighborhoods with 19 Orthodox Christian churches, 6 synagogues and Jewish temples, 3 Protestant churches (plus eight relocated churches), and 30,000 homes.”
All that for the People’s Home which didn’t consider basic people’s necessities I see. Has any other building in the world destroyed so much history in one go? Perhaps a spot like the Colosseum in Rome did or, more likely, some of Stalin’s monster buildings? Civilizations have had a history of building on top of each other, but the Ceausescu building managed to wipe out quite a large swath of its history in one go.