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    Posted November 17, 2013 by
    Carcaliu, Romania
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    2013: Your greatest moment

    More from mugur

    reputation is everything


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     mugur had a unique opportunity to visit a home in Carcaliu, Romania, which allegedly was the place were various pieces of famous artwork by artists such as Picasso and Monet were burned. He says he visited this place after speaking to an reporter from the media company Vice who was looking to feature some photos of the house, but was not able to get. He says what helped me gain access to his house was his reputation.
    - Jareen, CNN iReport producer

    I was at the seaside when a reporter from Vice magazine asked me whether I had any photographs of the village of Carcaliu. I had visited the place for the first time in 2010, stopping off at the Lipovian church, but I hadn’t taken any photographs, even though I had gone there as part of a documentary I was doing on religious belief in Romania. That was just the way things had turned out.

    After talking to the journalist from Vice, I decided to go back there. And so, on 1 August, at around seven o’clock in the morning, I arrived in Carcaliu for the second time.
    I was to document the case of the paintings stolen by Radu Dogaru, who was born in the village and whose family still lives there. But Carcaliu is famous not because of this detail in the story, but because it was here that the seven canvases by famous artists including Picasso, Monet and Matisse, and valued at around twenty million dollars, are supposed to have been hidden and finally burned.

    Long story short (you can read the rest on www.mugurvarzariu.com), solely based on my electronic signature, Radu Dogaru’s brother, currently living in UK, gave me permission to photograph their grandmother and the stove where the paintings where allegedly burned.

    it wasn’t easy to gain permission, however, and for the first time I witnessed how, if I can put it like this, my reputation as an honest man and my integrity as a photojournalist opened doors for me.

    A wonderful feeling.
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