Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Giant polenta is Moldovan study in patience

BUCHAREST (Reuters Life!) - Moldovan artist Ghenadie Popescu hauled a giant corn meal sculpture across a stretch of Moldova and Romania in order to "explore the idea of patience."

The pleasing yellowy corn meal, mixed with glue and perched on a wooden and metal structure, resembled a polenta-like, national Romanian dish called 'mamaliga'.

"People in this region have overcome many difficulties, poverty ... This polenta symbolizes patience," Popescu told Reuters this week.

The mamaliga, two meters (yards) in diameter and weighing some 120 kg (265 lb), was also part of a local art exhibition in the eastern Romanian village of Cucuteni, entitled "Rainbow."

The show also included red bottles, orange animals made of clay, green phone booths, wooden figurines painted in blue and purple video images.

Romania is the second-poorest country in the European Union and its economy amounts to about a third of the EU average.

Trekking the 200 km (124 miles) through impoverished villages on the EU's eastern edge, Popescu met a mixed welcome.

"Half of the people that passed me honked their horns, laughed or swore at me. Many threw garbage from their cars. But some gave me beers to drink and I was happy, because beer is also yellow."

(Reporting by Marius Zaharia; Editing by Paul Casciato)

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