Old Paintings (IV)
The author evokes two types of trade practiced during the Stalinist period in
Romania: consignment stores and flea markets. Setting up some Consignment
stores in old strategic commercial locations, discreet and central, was for
obvious reasons: in the 1950s, the front show windows and especially the
shelves had objects from the West, things that were not found at the time in
state shops. Another form of state-controlled private trade, imported from the
Soviet Union, was the flea market. In Bucharest, for example, it was first
sited in Colentina, later moved to Dudeşti. Very animated in the 1950s, this
kind of market was held exclusively on Sundays, frequented by cohorts of
people. The flea market was an epic of poverty, destitution and despair.
Everything that human fantasy created over the centuries was sold there.