The surroundings of the port became the setting for the Angel Park project, initiated in the summer of 2002 by Mircea Dinescu and a group of friends, sculptors and ceramic artists, soon after the old administrative house of the port was fully rebuilt.
The idea was a reaction to the nation-wide hysteria surrounding the controversial Dracula Parc project, which was being secretly negotiated and hotly debated in public at the time. the project was abandoned soon after and Dracula remained shrine-less. But the angels stayed.
‘We made the park to counter polemically with the Dracula Park project. This country was never in the full monopoly of the devil, at least at its peripheries, on the bank of the Danube, there may still be some angels left. Besides, it seems to me that building your 'national brand’ with angels could be a much better idea.
‘… it was dusk already when I saw seven horses – who still run around freely around here – stop in front of the house. For a while it appeared to me that they were looking at the sculptures of angels we put there, right by the water . I thought, you don’t see many people stop to look at angels anymore, but horses still do. And I said to myself, this is what I want to do here. Convince people to start looking a bit more at the angels”
After a sanctuary for angels, another was made for humans. Between two hills at the western edge of the village, in a spot with several ponds and natural springs called Ulmi (The Elms), where the oldest human settlement in the area was located several thousands of years ago, professor Ernest Budes and his friends (sculptors, painters, ceramic artists) built a small Neolithic village, with 6 types of huts made from earth and reed, painted with bright colours and prehistoric motifs, and endowed with all the clay pottery of the day.
And to finish the job, the two surrounding hills, facing south toward the summer sun and the Danube breeze, were planted with vinyards in 2006. The vinyard will reach maturity in the autumn of 2010 but the first Neolithic village of the 21st century didn’t flourish in the housing bubble that followed. Its time is yet to come.