BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — It is furniture fit for a dictator and now it's up for sale.
Twenty-five years ago, the Communist Party politburo ordered a bespoke set of rosewood, walnut and cherry wood intricately carved furniture — a wall unit and a desk with a chair — as a birthday present for former Romanian leader Nicolae Ceausescu.
But Ceausescu never received the gift. He was executed during the December 1989 anti-communist revolt, a month before his 72nd birthday. The Politburo was disbanded and the furniture was never paid for.
Now IMAR, a company in western Romania that been has making furniture since 1890 and once made pieces for Romanian kings, is selling off the 3 tons of wooden pieces which took eight months to craft. The starting price is 50,000 euros ($69,000) — a third of its true value — and the company is in negotiations with potential bidders.
Marian Gusatu, IMAR's general manager, said Monday the company is insolvent and is down-scaling.
He said the company had previously had inquiries about the furniture from singer Elton John and from wealthy people in Arab countries and Russia, but until now had decided not to sell the pieces, considering them to be national heritage.
"It was meant to be for his office in the House of the People," he said referring to the giant palace Ceausescu built in Bucharest, the second-largest government building in the world after the Pentagon.
On the Net: www.imar-sa.ro