Living statues festival wows Romania’s capital

Living statues festival wows Romania’s capital

Wait, did that statue really move?

It may have been the question many people asked while taking a walk in Bucharest over the past week, during the International Living Statues Festival.

Artists from eight countries embodied 64 statues in the old quarter of Romanian capital, in popular parks and in the garden of the spectacular Filipescu-Cesianu residence, built in 1892 in the Belle Epoque period.

Actors of the Romanian Masca Theatre, the festival’s organizer, brought to life Parisian street vendors from the 17th and 18th centuries in performances seen by an estimated 30,000 people.

 An artist of The Netherlands' Levend Theater performs the Angel character during the Living Statues International Festival, in Bucharest, Romania on Tuesday, May 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

An artist of The Netherlands' Levend Theater performs the Angel character during the Living Statues International Festival, in Bucharest, Romania on Tuesday, May 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

 An artist of The Netherlands' Levend Theater takes a selfie before performing her Angel character during the Living Statues International Festival, in Bucharest, Romania on Tuesday, May 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

An artist of The Netherlands' Levend Theater takes a selfie before performing her Angel character during the Living Statues International Festival, in Bucharest, Romania on Tuesday, May 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

Bucharest is one of several Eastern European cities known as the “Paris of the East” because of its French-inspired architecture and gardens.

Children, some very young, were the most visibly fascinated spectators.

 Portuguese artist Antonio Santos checks his make-up during the Living Statues International Festival, in Bucharest, Romania on Sunday, May 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

Portuguese artist Antonio Santos checks his make-up during the Living Statues International Festival, in Bucharest, Romania on Sunday, May 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

The characters’ vividly colored outfits, some inspired by the famous Romanian sculptor Constantin Brancusi’s iconic Endless Column, were the main attraction. While the high-pitched screaming involved in some performances scared a few, others enjoyed the interaction and even offered to share their ice cream with the actors.

The living statues from Britain, Germany, Macedonia, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Spain and Ukraine engaged in sudden moments of interaction with the public, often startling the spectators.

“We hope to enhance the Romanian public’s abilities to truly understand and appreciate this art form, regarded in the past as a mere occupation associated with amateurs or even begging,” Masca Theatre director Mihai Malaimare told The Associated Press, describing the event as “the largest European festival of the genre.”

 Artists of Romania's Masca theatre wear outfits inspired by famous Romanian sculptor Constantin Brancusi's iconic Endless Column, at the Living Statues International Festival, in Bucharest, Romania on Thursday, May 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

Artists of Romania's Masca theatre wear outfits inspired by famous Romanian sculptor Constantin Brancusi's iconic Endless Column, at the Living Statues International Festival, in Bucharest, Romania on Thursday, May 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

 Valentin Mihalache of Romania's Masca theatre performs his Christophe Contugi character, at the Living Statues International Festival, in Bucharest, Romania on Thursday, May 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

Valentin Mihalache of Romania's Masca theatre performs his Christophe Contugi character, at the Living Statues International Festival, in Bucharest, Romania on Thursday, May 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

 Artists of Ukraine's Artel Myth speak during a break at the Living Statues International Festival, in Bucharest, Romania on Thursday, May 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

Artists of Ukraine's Artel Myth speak during a break at the Living Statues International Festival, in Bucharest, Romania on Thursday, May 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

 An artist of Ukraine's Artel Myth performs her Concordia character in Bucharest, May 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

An artist of Ukraine's Artel Myth performs her Concordia character in Bucharest, May 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

 An artist of Ukraine's Artel Myth, walks by Romanian police officers, in Bucharest, May 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

An artist of Ukraine's Artel Myth, walks by Romanian police officers, in Bucharest, May 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

 An artist of Ukraine's Artel Myth applies make-up to his feet before performing in Bucharest, Romania on Tuesday, May 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

An artist of Ukraine's Artel Myth applies make-up to his feet before performing in Bucharest, Romania on Tuesday, May 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

 A child offers ice-cream to artists of Ukraine's Artel Myth theatre performing "A day in the life of Ukrainians" at the Living Statues International Festival, in Bucharest, Romania on Thursday, May 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

A child offers ice-cream to artists of Ukraine's Artel Myth theatre performing "A day in the life of Ukrainians" at the Living Statues International Festival, in Bucharest, Romania on Thursday, May 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

 Tania Met, of Spain's Gardener's theatre rehearses her moves for the Rosita character in Bucharest, Romania on May 27, 2018.

Tania Met, of Spain's Gardener's theatre rehearses her moves for the Rosita character in Bucharest, Romania on May 27, 2018.

 Tania Met, of Spain's Gardener's theatre rehearses her moves for the Rosita character in Bucharest, Romania on May 27, 2018.

Tania Met, of Spain's Gardener's theatre rehearses her moves for the Rosita character in Bucharest, Romania on May 27, 2018.

 Tania Met, of Spain's Gardener's theatre rehearses her moves for the Rosita character during the Living Statues International Festival, in Bucharest, Romania on May 27, 2018 (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

Tania Met, of Spain's Gardener's theatre rehearses her moves for the Rosita character during the Living Statues International Festival, in Bucharest, Romania on May 27, 2018 (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

 An artist of The Netherlands' Levend Theater checks her make-up during the Living Statues International Festival, in Bucharest, Romania on Tuesday, May 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

An artist of The Netherlands' Levend Theater checks her make-up during the Living Statues International Festival, in Bucharest, Romania on Tuesday, May 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

 An artist of Romania's Masca theatre has make-up applied to his face before performing at the Living Statues International Festival, in Bucharest, Romania on Tuesday, May 22, 2018,. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

An artist of Romania's Masca theatre has make-up applied to his face before performing at the Living Statues International Festival, in Bucharest, Romania on Tuesday, May 22, 2018,. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

 A woman looks at an artist of Romania's Masca theatre waiting to perform at the Living Statues International Festival, in Bucharest, Romania on May 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

A woman looks at an artist of Romania's Masca theatre waiting to perform at the Living Statues International Festival, in Bucharest, Romania on May 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

 Artists of Ukraine's Artel Myth theatre are backdropped religious paintings before performing at the Living Statues International Festival, in Bucharest, Romania on Tuesday, May 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

Artists of Ukraine's Artel Myth theatre are backdropped religious paintings before performing at the Living Statues International Festival, in Bucharest, Romania on Tuesday, May 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

 An artist of Ukraine's Artel Myth theatre is backdropped by a religious painting before performing her Yaroslavna character during the Living Statues International Festival, in Bucharest, Romania on Tuesday, May 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

An artist of Ukraine's Artel Myth theatre is backdropped by a religious painting before performing her Yaroslavna character during the Living Statues International Festival, in Bucharest, Romania on Tuesday, May 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

 An artist of Ukraine's Artel Myth theatre has make-up applied to her face by a colleague, before performing her Concordia character during the Living Statues International Festival, in Bucharest, Romania on Tuesday, May 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

An artist of Ukraine's Artel Myth theatre has make-up applied to her face by a colleague, before performing her Concordia character during the Living Statues International Festival, in Bucharest, Romania on Tuesday, May 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

 An artist performs during the Living Statues International Festival, in Bucharest, Romania, Tuesday, May 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

An artist performs during the Living Statues International Festival, in Bucharest, Romania, Tuesday, May 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

In this Sunday, May 27, 2018, photograph, an artist of Romania's Masca theatre wears an outfit inspired by famous Romanian sculptor Constantin Brancusi's iconic Endless Column, at the Living Statues International Festival, in Bucharest, Romania.(AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

 Artists of Ukraine's Artel Myth theatre apply make-up before performing in the Living Statues International Festival, in Bucharest, Romania in Tuesday, May 22, 2018 (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

Artists of Ukraine's Artel Myth theatre apply make-up before performing in the Living Statues International Festival, in Bucharest, Romania in Tuesday, May 22, 2018 (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

 Andrei Costin of Romania's Masca theatre performs his Rat Poison Vendor character, at the Living Statues International Festival, in Bucharest, Romania on May 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

Andrei Costin of Romania's Masca theatre performs his Rat Poison Vendor character, at the Living Statues International Festival, in Bucharest, Romania on May 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

 Artists of Ukraine's Artel Myth theatre perform "A day in the life of Ukrainians" at the Living Statues International Festival, in Bucharest, Romania on Thursday, May 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

Artists of Ukraine's Artel Myth theatre perform "A day in the life of Ukrainians" at the Living Statues International Festival, in Bucharest, Romania on Thursday, May 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

 Marta Teresa da Rocha, of Spain's Alucinarte Animacion Teatral walks in a park before performing in the Living Statues International Festival, in Bucharest, Romania on Sunday, May 27, 2018.  (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

Marta Teresa da Rocha, of Spain's Alucinarte Animacion Teatral walks in a park before performing in the Living Statues International Festival, in Bucharest, Romania on Sunday, May 27, 2018.  (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

 Marta Teresa da Rocha, of Spain's Alucinarte Animacion Teatral walks in a park before performing in the Living Statues International Festival, in Bucharest, Romania on Sunday, May 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

Marta Teresa da Rocha, of Spain's Alucinarte Animacion Teatral walks in a park before performing in the Living Statues International Festival, in Bucharest, Romania on Sunday, May 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

 Germany's John Man performs his Candy Man act during the Living Statues International Festival, in Bucharest, Romania on Sunday, May 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

Germany's John Man performs his Candy Man act during the Living Statues International Festival, in Bucharest, Romania on Sunday, May 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

Photos by Vadim Ghirda