On Wednesday, February 7, 2024, the Golești Museum and the Argeș County Library organized a symposium dedicated to Constantin (Dinicu) Golescu (1777-1830), on the 247th anniversary of his birth.
Dinicu Golescu played an important role in promoting Enlightenment ideas that supported progress, education and rationality. He was an active supporter of education, establishing schools and promoting education in the Romanian language. These ideas were emphasized by the managers of the two institutions, Mrs. Mihaela Voinicu and Mr. Narcis Iustin Dejanu, in the words of greeting addressed to those present. Students of the Military School “Basarab I” participated, coordinated by Mr. platoon leader-adjutant Marian Burcea, but also students of the “Zinca Golescu” National College, under the guidance of teacher Eugenia Zgreabăn. A notable guest of yesterday was the professor and historian Cornel Carp, who honored us with his presence.
The four speakers outlined the cultural context of the beginning of the 19th century, presented to the public the personality and work of Dinicu Golescu and, through artistic film images, showed a receptive audience how the memory of this Romanian scholar was perpetuated and reflected in contemporary Romanian society.
In the first of the interventions, Ms. librarian Magda Ioniță-Roșoiu has created a comprehensive history of the printed book and typographic centers in the Romanian cultural space. The printing press and the book were of particular importance in the evolution of humanity and the transmission of knowledge. Printing revolutionized the process of information reproduction, facilitating the mass distribution of texts and accelerating the exchange of ideas. The book, as a support of knowledge, was and remains a fundamental pillar of culture and education. It not only stores information, but also stimulates the imagination, supports the development of critical thinking and provides a window to the world of ideas and experiences. Thus, printing and the book are essential tools for the progress of society, as Dinicu Golescu, the scholar who invested knowledge, time and money in translating, writing and disseminating books to help modernize the Romanian people, in the Enlightenment spirit, also believed.
The second presentation, supported by Ms. Camelia Călin, scientific researcher III, pointed out the main key dates of Dinicu Golescu’s biography, followed by an evocation of the trips that the boyar made in Transylvania, Banat and Central and Western Europe (Hungary, Austria, Bavaria, Switzerland , northern Italy). Traveling is an adventure, a complex process through which the individual encounters new territories and cultural experiences. Traveling involves overcoming physical boundaries, conquering geographical space, but it is equally an incursion into one’s own self, which is, in this context, challenged to probe one’s own beliefs, analyze them and compare them with new experiences , opening up to the understanding of other life perspectives. This overcoming of limits, both physical and spiritual, brings with it a personal growth and a deeper understanding of the world and one’s own identity, as we can see in the main work written by Dinicu Golescu and entitled, in short, “Significance of of my journey”. Living the experience of Western culture, the Romanian boyar is not content to list what he saw and impressed him in the West, but analyzes and compares with the political, administrative, economic and cultural situation in his own country. His conclusions are bitter, because the Romanian world was profoundly underdeveloped, but, with a bright and courageous spirit, Dinicu Golescu drew up a whole program of reforms that would bring his compatriots closer to the “public happiness” he had noticed in other nations. Returning to his homeland, in 1826, he implements part of his own cultural plan, establishing, on the Golești estate, with his own money, a school for all children, regardless of the social class to which they belonged.
Ms. Cristina Boțoghină, head of the History and Pedagogy section at the Golești Museum, addressed a new topic, namely, the reception of Dinicu Golescu’s work and activity in Romanian filmography, in the film “Falansterul”, directed by Savel Stiopul. Made in 1979, with a prestigious cast – Liviu Ciulei, Adrian Pintea, Julieta Szönyi, Enikõ Szilágyi, Elena Albu, Dumitru Rucăreanu, Romeo Pop, Aristide Teica, Mihai Mălaimare, Mircea Veroiu, Remus Mărgineanu, Ana Barcan, Vasile Nițulescu, Eusebiu Ștefănescu , Şerban Cantacuzino, Ștefan Velniciuc et al. – the film combines history with cinematographic fiction to present the social experiment in the Scaieni-Prahova commune, where in 1834, the engineer Theodor Diamant, educated in the West, fascinated by the ideas of communism, founded the Phalanster, according to a model of social organization proposed by the utopian French Charles Fourier. But, under the pressure of the authorities and due to some economic realities that are hard to change, the Romanian phalanster succumbs in a short time. In the film, the role of Dinicu Golescu is played by Liviu Ciulei. The presentation of some eloquent sequences from the film gave the opportunity for a discussion about the Romanian world at the balance between two types of civilizations, about the changes in customs and morals that began to occur here in the first half of the 19th century.
The symposium ended with the presentation of Ms. Gabriela Tomescu Olteanu, techno-editor of the Argeș County Library, about two books less known to the general public: “Elements of moral philosophy composed by Neofit Vamva for the learning-loving youth of the Greeks. And translated into the Romanian language, for the benefit of young Romanians by Constandin Radoviciiu of Golești”, printed in Bucharest in 1827, respectively “Assembly of the treaties that followed between the too powerful empire of Russia and the ‘Nalta Poartă; but only those that are on account of the Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia”. Dinicu Golescu was not a simple financier of a school in Romanian, but a philanthropist involved in the entire process of founding a modern education, also contributing to the translation into Romanian, the publication and distribution to students of textbooks and books necessary for education. Neofit Vamva’s treatise, published at the printing house in Cișmeaua Mavrogheni, was intended for students in the upper course of the free school in Golești. For the boyar animated by the spirit of reform, the good of the whole society could only be achieved if, from the leaders to the lower levels of the social hierarchy, people are not trained and educated in the sense of respecting moral and religious principles, because: “moral diseases are not like carnal ones, although they are worse and more dangerous”. The collection of treaties is a compendium of those provisions that directly concerned the status of the Romanian Lands, from the international treaties signed between the Russians and the Ottomans, 1774-1826.
As part of the event, an exhibition of old Romanian books from the collection of the Argeș County Library and the Golești Museum was organized.