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11_Trajan Column with scaffolding for plaster casts, Rome 1865.png
11_subREAL(Călin Dan, Iosif Kiraly, Dan Mihalțianu), Draculaland 1, 1992 - 2010.png

The Latin Connection

Inside the national history museum of Romania is a cast of Trajan’s column from Rome, depicting the battles between the Roman Empire and the Dacians, leading to the birth of the Romanian people. There’s a similar cast in the V&A Museum in London in the Museo Della Civilta Romana in Rome and Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum in Germany. Despite it being fundamental for the Romanian culture, a complete reproduction of these casts has been available for the Romanian public only starting with 1972. These migrating copies have gained their intrinsic value through time, each offering a different spatial experience from the original and between themselves. Despite this, their initial connection is still legible.

How many times can we play Chinese whispers with a work of art until it completely loses its original meaning? This was one of the questions that the art group subREAL tried to raise with their piece, which merges two iconic figures: The Mona Lisa and Vlad the Impaler, the Romanian middle ages ruler who served as inspiration for Dracula.

As we see copies of buildings that sometimes rise faster than the original design and Pinterest acting as every architecture student’s new best friend, we wonder where you draw the line between copy and original.


[1] Trajan column, Rome (1865)

[2] Draculaland 1 (1992 - 2010) by subREAL ( Călin Dan, Dan Mihalțianu, Iosif Kiraly)

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