Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Ceausescu's son seeks ban on play on ex-Romanian dictator


BUCHAREST — The son of former Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu wants to ban a play on the December 1989 trial and execution of his parents in order to protect their names, his lawyer said on Tuesday.

"We are seeking a ban on the Odeon theatre performing this play in Bucharest and damages worth one leu (about 0.25 euros)," Haralambie Voicilas told AFP.

After two shows in Bucharest last December, "The Last Hours of Ceausescu" was to be performed in Berlin and then the Swiss cities of Bern, Zurich and Lucerne in February.

The lawyer said Valentin Ceausescu and his late sister's husband had registered the "Ceausescu" trademark two years ago, meaning the name could no longer be used for commercial purposes without their consent.

"The plaintiff's motive is not to get rich but to prevent that his father's name be ridiculed," Voicilas said.

He stressed however that the ban did not apply to historical works.

Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu were executed by a firing squad on December 25, 1989, following a brief trial. His communist regime was the last to crumble in Eastern Europe in 1989.

Valentin Ceausescu also went to the courts in 2006 after a mobile communications company used footage of a Ceausescu speech in a commercial.

The court dismissed the suit as the name of Ceausescu had not yet been registered as a trademark, Voicilas said.

The play is written by Milo Rau, one of the founders of the International Institute of Political Murder based in Berlin and Zurich.

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