Martor No. 26 / Year 2021

The Museum of the Unknown City. Part II 

(Download PDF)




National Museum of the Romanian Peasant, Romania  

Pages: 147-155


Museum studies; recent history; local memory; history as fiction; subjective history; community project; archive in progress; photo narrative. 


The article discusses various projects (in the real world or on the social media) to do with creating a museum in and about the unknown town of Mizil. The “Museum of the Unknown Town” is the memory of a non-existent town. This is because most museums reconstruct worlds that have ceased to exist. They reinvent them as part of a utopic exercise applied to the past, despite the overwhelming amount of information that they have at their disposal and which they employ. However, knowledge is not the same as storage, but rather, to an extent that differs from case to case, it is also imagination, which enables innovation. The unpredictable connections between images and the texts of different personal experiences have the power not only to sensitise local visitors to the town’s history, but also to make them aware that they are a part of that history, that they can enrich it by cultivating and practising memory. The article argues that the communist past of the town and of Romania in general might be viewed in a more nuanced way, as opposed to the use of clichés and a uniform viewpoint. 

The author makes use of creative writing as his technique, drawing inspiration from hand-picked images. 

How to cite this article:

Manolache, Cosmin. 2021. “The Museum of the Unknown City. Part II.” Martor 26: 147-155. 

MARTOR applies to all published materials the Creative Commons LicenceAttribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives CC BY-NC-ND,” allowing others to download the published works and share them with others as long as they credit the author, but they can’t change them in any way, or use them commercially.