The exhibition For a history of symbols: the tattoo in Romania at Suțu Palace brings for the first time to the public’s attention a didactic collection of tattoos from the end of the XIXth century, curated by Nicolae Minovici, manager of the Institute of Forensic Medicine during 1946 – 1952. The collection consists of tattooed pieces of human skin taken from human bodies held in the custody of the Institute of Forensic Medicine during Nicolae Minovici’s management. The exhibition is one of the few of the kind in Europe and opens up to the public a borderline area, says Adrian Majuru, manager of the Museum of Bucharest.

The tattoo trend is present in the Romanian society from the times of Neolithic cultures. During the Middle Ages the tattoo was found only in the high society (cultural element of Oriental origin) and a series of flamboyant characters such as Petru Cercel (1583-1585, ruler of the Romanian Country) or Gratiani Gaspar (1619-1620, ruler of Moldova). Recent history changed to the extant that tattoos and their various symbols became a choice for both delinquents and high society. From the perspective of modern urban life, the impact of rapid modernization in which people were burdened by problems, many of the tattooed symbols were either a form of protest towards a world hard to bear, or a manner of displaying or affiliation to a group, community or sexual minority.

The exhibition opened this December at Suțu Palace (the main location of the Museum of Bucharest) and can be visited until April 30, 2015. Minovici’s PhD thesis “Tattoos in Romania” is a first in Romanian specialty literature, showing the importance of the tattoo in forensic practice and in establishing a person’s identity.

Entry fee: RON 6

Follow updates on the exhibition on the dedicated event page.