Cosmin Minea is organising an international workshop titled ‘Restoration and Promotion of Architectural Monuments in Central and Eastern Europe in the 19th and First Half of the 20th Centuries’

Call for Papers:

Restoration and Promotion of Architectural Monuments in Central and Eastern Europe in the 19th and First Half of the 20th Centuries

International workshop at the Institute for the History and Theory of Architecture, ETH, Zürich, 7-8 July, 2022

Since the early 19th century, on the Dalmatian Coast, in the Carpathian Mountains or on the Hungarian plains, old historical monuments were reconstructed, repainted, or consolidated as part of new collective identities. Artists, historians and writers promoted architectural monuments through restorations, ceremonies, exhibitions or writings. In the process of defining various identities based on notions of shared cultural heritage, restorations played a key role. They were opportunities to change the aspect of monuments, to consolidate or renew decaying buildings, to debate their meaning, write about and promote them, all according to specific purposes or beliefs. Moreover, restorations were also opportunities for international collaborations, for the creation of intellectual networks and of communication channels for ideas about artistic styles, practices and cultural identities. Nevertheless, in spite of their significance, restorations and processes of heritage creation have played a marginal role in histories of modern Central and Eastern Europe.

This international workshop aims to identify some of the methods, actors, ideas and principles behind restoration of architectural monuments and their promotion to a wider public on the territories of the former Russian, Habsburg and Ottoman Empires and their successor states. The focus of the workshop is both on the activity of restoration and on the various mediums for the promotion of architectural monuments, such as exhibitions, new urban layouts, ceremonies, commemorations, re-enactments, artificial lighting, entertainment venues, etc. Central and Eastern Europe is defined by its dual Imperial and national heritage, by many overlapping common histories and by similar social and cultural contexts. Therefore, comparisons, contrasts or parallels are in particular suitable and papers looking at more than one national context are especially welcomed.

Possible questions to consider are:

  • What was the significance and impact of various mediums of promoting architectural monuments in the 19th and First Half of the 20th Centuries?
  • What was the significance of particular restoration principles and what was their relation to ideas about national art and heritage?
  • What transnational artistic encounters and networks were created by the restoration and promotion of monuments?
  • How were local populations involved in restoration and promotion activities, and what was their influence?
  • What do restorations reveal about the idea of transnational heritage, and what are other ways of studying the creation of historical monuments beyond the national framework?

Proposals are welcomed from researchers of all levels of experience. The workshop aims to potentially form a network of scholars with similar interests and future publication opportunities will be explored. Please submit an abstract of maximum 300 words along with a brief CV to by the deadline of April 4, 2022. A decision on the participation will be made by April 18. Participants who do not have access to institutional funding can claim support for travel and accommodation expenses. Please specify when you send in the abstract. The workshop will be held in person (unless subject to unavoidable pandemic restrictions) and based on discussion of pre-submitted papers. Works in progress that invite reflections and feedback are also accepted. Future publication opportunities will be explored.

More info can be found on the conference website:
For any questions please contact Dr Cosmin Minea at

More details can be found on the website:

Please also find below the call for papers in PDF format.

Follow on Youtube Cosmin Minea’s talk about discovery of historical monuments and folk architecture in 20th Century Romania

The talk is part of the seminar series titled ‘National Histories, Imperial Memories: Representing The Past In Interwar Central Europe’ and organised by the CRAACE research project.

It includes also a talk by Gábor Egry about public statues and the politics of the past in interwar Transylvania and truly great discussion at the end!

Read About the First Museums of Medieval Art in Romania in the Latest Article by Cosmin Minea, ‘Medieval Art, National Architectural Heritage and Museums in Late 19th Century Romania’

Abstract: This article describes how the material heritage was given new
shape and meaning in the context of the new nation-state of Romania. It starts
by looking at the history of the first public museum in Romania, namely the
Museum of Natural History and Antiquities in Bucharest and also at the
broader interest in the Roman antiquities in 19th century Romania. It then
focuses on the first restoration of historical monuments and the initiatives of
two of the most well-known architects at the time to establish museums of
religious art: André Lecomte du Noüy (1844-1914) and Ion Mincu (1852-
1912). The process of creating a national heritage for Romania has led to the
design of valuable new buildings and was underpinned by a powerful will to
modernise the country. At the same time, it has represented a destructive force.
The built fabric of historical sites and historical artefacts were reshaped,
rebuilt, given new meanings and context, so that to fit into the political
objectives of the new nation-state. The article will balance and analyse the
significance of these various efforts to restore historical monuments and
establish the first museums of Romanian heritage.

Mihnea Mihail will present on 9 July his paper at the Leeds International Medieval Congress

The is titled ‘St Anne, Mary, and Christ’s Body: Anna Selbdritt in 14th- and 15th-Century Wall Paintings in the Kingdom of Hungary’

Click this link to see the schedule and for full registration info.


This paper will concentrate on 14th and 15th centuries mural representations of Anna Selbdritt in the former Hungarian Kingdom. While academic literature mostly examined painted panels, manuscripts and sculptures, wall paintings received less attention. The ten murals from the territories that were part of the Kingdom of Hungary were created in the 14th and first half of the 15th centuries, so prior to the peak of devotion to St. Anne, that can be roughly established in the second half of the 15th century. It is frequently considered that the debates regarding the Immaculate Conception and the interest in genealogical filiations were major theological and social aspects of the Late Middle Ages that had an impact upon the development and spread of Anna Selbdritt and Holy Kinship iconography. However, I argue that, in the case of the Hungarian Kingdom, the interest in St. Anne’s figure, alongside Mary and Christ, was not fostered by the presence of Franciscans or other religious orders that held the Immaculatist view, as has been previously asserted. I believe that at the core of this iconography was the figure of Mary and her role, visual and theological, in Eucharistic devotion as a means of personal redemption. The wider iconographic context in which the Anna Selbdritt theme was included, alongside scenes like The Last Judgment and motifs like the Pietà and The Discovery of the True Cross can be interpreted as visual enhancement of Christ’s fleshly presence in the sacral space and demonstrate the murals Eucharistic and salvific functions.

Full Video of our Progress Report: Art Historiographies in Central and Eastern Europe. An Inquiry from the Perspective of Entangled Histories

This ERC Starting Grant was awarded to Dr Ada Hajdu in 2018, with New Europe College-Institute for Advanced Study as its Host Institution. The project was due to last five years. Following Dr Hajdu’s untimely death in July 2020, the project was curtailed and will come to an end this summer. The research team and the Host Institution felt the need for a concluding meeting to reflect on the project’s achievements and, at the same time, to offer tribute to a deeply missed friend and colleague.

Cosmin Minea has published his full chapter about ‘Foreign and Local Entanglements in the Creation of Romanian Architectural Heritage in the Late 19th Century’

Cosmin Minea, ‘Foreign and Local Entanglements in the Creation of Romanian Architectural Heritage in the Late 19th Century’, Art and Politics in the Modern Period, Dragan Damjanović et all. (eds.), (Zagreb: University of Zagreb, FF-press, 2019), 293-302.


Magdalena Kunińska will present her paper titled ‘The dignity of the art historian”: Lech Kalinowski, Jan Białostocki and a response to Max Dvořák “Kunstgeschichte als Geistesgeschichte“ in Poland after the Second World War’ on April 16

She will take part in the conference The Influence of the Vienna School of Art History II: The 100th Anniversary of Max Dvořák’s Death which takes place on 15-16 April 2021 online and is organised by the Institute of Art History of the Czech Academy of Sciences.

The conference is held online on Zoom. Registration will take place via e-mail: Unregistered participants will be able to watch the conference online on Facebook of the Institute of Art History of the Czech Academy of Sciences.

See here more details, including the conference program.