Se pare ca noutatile se tin lant in ultima perioada. Am descoperit o fotografie – document uimitoare realizata de Mihai Gadinceanu ce surprinde momentele premergatoare demolarii bisericii Sf. Vineri din piata cu acelasi nume aflata in Bucuresti. Este un document important in contextul in care momentul a fost foarte putin fotografiat, aproape deloc. Mai exista o imagine a lui Andrei Pandele realizata de undeva de la sol din multime si cam atat. Riscurile celor ce fotografiau aceste actiuni erau uriase, porneau de la confiscarea aparatelor de fotografiat pana la arestari.
It seems that news comes one after another. I have discovered an amazing document photograph taken by Mihai Gadinceanu which captures the moments immediately before the demolition of the Sf.Vineri Church in the square bearing the same name in Bucharest. It is an important document as the event was very little photographed, if at all. There is another image of Andrei Pandele taken from somewhere from the ground and that is about everything. The risks taken by those who photographed such actions were huge, starting from the seizure of the photo cameras up to arrests.
Daca trec in revista cateva dintre amintirile din copilarie (am locuit la mai putin de 100 de mertri de biserica iar disparitia acesteia a fost un eveniment intens comentat de vecini), ceea ce vedem trebuie sa fie un cadru realizat cu cel putin o zi inaintea demolarii efective. Cateva zile a domnit o stare de confuzie, zvonurile se tineau lant. Ori ca o demoleaza, ori ca o muta, ori ca demoleaza doar anexele, soarta bisericii parea inca nehotarata. Certitudinea a venit curand in momentul in care cele doua turle au disparut distruse in miez de noapte.
If I consider some of my childhood memories (I lived at less than 100 meters away from the church and its disappearance was heavily commented by neighbours), this must be a photo taken with at least a day before the effective demolition. For a few days there was confusion, rumours would come one after another. Some said it was going to be demolished, others that it was going to be moved, others said only the annexes were going to be demolished, the destiny of the church was still undecided. Certainty came soon, when the two steeples disappeared as they had been destroyed in the middle of the night.
Procesul s-a desfasurat cu tot dichis-ul. Au fost oameni ce au protestat, postandu-se in fata buldozerelor, momente rapid rezolvate de militienii aflati in zona. Demolarea a fost amanata cateva ore de o defectiune tehnica presupusa a fi providentiala cand la prima lovitura asupra coloanelor ce sustieau bolta intrarii, aceasta avea sa rupa in cadere un furtun de presiune al sistemului hidraulic al cupei excavatorului ce participa la operatiune. Lucrarile au fost sistate, spre uimirea asistentei din ce in ce mai numeroasa. Dupa demolare, ironic, avand loc intr-o vineri, a inceput sa ploua, lucru ce a alimentat si mai mult imaginatia celor de acolo, dovada a unor lacrimi divine. Saptamani la rand zona s-a aflat intr-un pelerinaj continuu. Oameni recuperau caramizi, bucati de ornamente, diverse pietricele, cioburi sau alte resturi din corpul bisericii spre a le pastra drept amintire. Am avut si eu o astfel de caramida dar s-a pierdut in urma unei mutari fortate.
The process unfolded by the book. There were people who protested, posting themselves in front of the bulldozers and this was quickly put an end to by policemen in the area. The demolition was postponed for a few hours because of a technical malfunction which people supposed to be providential. The entrance vault fell when the columns supporting it were taken down and it broke a pressure hose of the hydraulic system of the excavator bucket. The works ceased to the amazement of the increasingly numerous public. After the demolition which ironically enough, took place on a Friday, it started raining and fuelled even more the public’s imagination, [this was] a proof of divine tears. For weeks on row the area turned into a pilgrimage site. People would recover bricks, pieces of ornaments, various cobbles, broken glass or other debris from the body of the church as keepsake. I myself had such a brick but it was lost when we were forced to move out.
Revenind la fotografie, se pare ca este realizata de undeva de la inaltime. Probabil de la etajul complexului comercial ce se afla inca in constructie, pe locul tribunalului demolat cu ceva timp in urma. Cadrul este realizat cu vedere spre Calea Calarasilor, sosea ce trecea prin stanga bisericii, in fundal in fotografia noastra. Vedem in partea dreapta anexele si casele din jur ce sunt aproape demolate, excavatoare si camioane lucrand la indepartarea molozului. Pe acoperisul bisericii vedem cativa muncitori ce studiaza modalitatile de demolare ale turlelor. Ele au fost demolate primele, corpul cladirii a cazut dupa cateva zeci de ore. In fata intrarii se afla un numar de douazeci si ceva de oameni. Lucratori responsabili de demolare, aflati intr-o oarecare pauza sau mini-sedinta. Ferestrele din partea dreapta sunt deja demontate. Prin prima dintre ele (numarand de la intrare) si prin corespondenta ei din partea opusa aveau sa treaca niste cabluri de otel ce sa ajute la sectionarea peretilor. In fotografia lui Andrei Pandele cablurile se vad deja montate. Exista o tehnica in vremea respectiva ce presupunea legarea unu cablu de otel intre doua excavatoare, cablu ce sectiona peretii cladirilor prin forta de tragere a utilajelor.
Coming back to the photograph it seems that it was taken at a height somewhere. It was probably on the second storey of the general store still under construction, on the place of the tribunal which had been demolished a while before. The photo was taken with a view to Calea Calarasilor, a road on the left of the church, in the background of our photograph. On the right side we can see the annexes and the houses around which are almost demolished, excavators and lorries used for debris removal. On the roof of the church we see some workers considering the ways to demolish the steeples. They were the first to be demolished, the body of the building fell tens of hours afterwards. In front of the entrance there are twenty-odd people – workers in charge with the demolition, in a sort of a break or a mini-meeting. The windows on the right side are already taken apart. Through one of them (counting from the entrance) and through its corresponding window on the opposite side steel cables would pass to enable wall sawing. In Andrei Pandele’s photograph the cables are already in place. Back then there used to be a technique according to which a steel cable had to be tied between the two excavators, this cable would seesaw the walls of the buildings through the pulling force of the machines.
In fundal, pe Calea Calarsilor dar si in fata-stanga pe strada Sf. Vineri, vedem gardul de protectie ce delimiteaza santierul. Tin minte ca acest gard a fost instalat cu saptamani bune inaintea demolarii cand inca zvonurile sustineau ambele variante. Atat demolarea bisericii cat si o eventuala mutare a ei.
In the background, on Calea Calarsilor but also in the foreground on the left side on Sf. Vineri Street we can see the protection fence marking the limits of the construction site. I remember that this fence was set up a few weeks before demolition when there were still rumours about the two possibilities, namely both the demolition of the church and a possible movement of it.