Romanian who worked for The Met opens textile museum in the country

Florica Zaharia (first, left). Photo: metmuseum.org

Florica Zaharia (first, left). Photo: metmuseum.org

A textile museum is set to open this spring in Romania. The museum is the initiative of Florica Zaharia, a Romanian who returned to the country after running the textile conservation department of the Metropolitan Museum, according to Romania-Insider.com.

The museum will open in locations in Băiţa and in Hărţăgani, both villages in the Băiţa commune, in western Romania’s Hunedoara county. Visitors will be able to see the museum, set to include items from the collection of the Zaharia family, beginning 2019, Adevarul reported. In Băiţa, the museum will have two locations, one in a historical building and the other in the locality’s general store.

Hărţăgani, a village of a little over 1,000 inhabitants, is where Florica Zaharia was born and the place where her family decided to retire upon returning from the United States.

Zaharia, who graduated from the Nicolae Grigorescu Arts University in Bucharest, specialized in decorative arts, tapestry and textiles. She worked on the film costumes for the 1983 film Bear’s Eye, directed by Stere Gulea, before leaving Romania. She and her husband lived in Mauritania for two years, and afterwards headed for New York. Although she did not speak English, Zaharia managed to get hired at the Metropolitan Museum after a recruitment agency showed the institution two tapestries she had made. She later went on to manage the museum’s textile conservation department.

 

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