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US Ambassador to Bucharest takes stance on Romania's central bank issue of controversial coin

de V.O.
Vineri, 20 august 2010, 18:46 English | Regional Europe

Mark Gitenstein
Foto: DGP /
US Ambassador to Bucharest Mark Gitenstein said on Friday he was "very disappointed" with a decision of Romania's central bank to issue a commemorative coin depicting a Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church who has been linked to the antisemitic movement in the country at the beginning of WWII. The issue of the coin was criticized by the US Holocaust Museum earlier on Friday as well.

The statement of the US Ambassador:
  • "I am very disappointed by the decision on the part of the National Bank of Romania to issue the coin commemorating Patriarch Miron Cristea.  Cristea’s actions as Prime Minister - specifically his role in the revocation of citizenship for over 225,000 Romanian Jews - cannot be ignored. They contradict his professed religious devotion and must be evaluated alongside his positive contributions to Romanian history as Patriarch. Many organizations in Romania and the United States already have expressed their opposition to the coin. The fact that some Romanians were surprised by this criticism indicates that they remain unaware of or insensitive to well-documented historical events that happened here. Thanks to organizations like the Elie Wiesel Institute, Romania and its people have made great progress coming to terms with their past, and even today I remain confident that they will continue to do so."

See how the National Bank of Romania argued in favor of printing the coin here

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