Press Release

The first stage of the conservation and restoration works of the State Circus in Chișinău has been completed

23 May 2024

  • With an investment of more than 2.2 million euros from the European Union through the "Confidence Building Measures" Programme implemented by UNDP, the first stage of the conservation and restoration works of the State Circus in Chișinău was completed. 
Photo: © UNDP Moldova

At the event on 23 May 2024 marking the completion of the first stage of works, the President of the Republic of Moldova, Maia Sandu said: 

“I was pleased to return today to the circus in Chișinău, where the first stage of restoration was completed. For many of us, the circus means magic and the joy of childhood, and we would very much like today's children to be able to enjoy the performances. Since 1982, when it was built, this building has been a source of pride for the people of Chișinău, because it was a true architectural masterpiece. Unfortunately, for a long time the doors of the circus were closed. In recent years, however, with the support of development partners, we have managed to take the first step towards reopening them. We are grateful to the European Union, which provided over 2 million euros for the immediate work repairs to the dome and roof and reinforcement of the curtain walls - and to the United Nations Development Programme for carrying it out. We look forward to the day when this building will once again shine in the heart of the capital and in the hearts of the little ones.”

After more than a year of works, the circus roof has been repaired and regained its former grandeur. Today, 100% of the dome has been completely replaced with a European-made galvanised steel roofing with a 50-year guarantee. The flat roof surface is also completely rehabilitated and a new rain drainage system installed. The old insulation material under the roof has been replaced with new water and heat resistant mineral material. This will align the Circus roof structure with energy efficiency requirements, and the new materials will provide better fire protection. 

“We hope that the completion of the first phase of works will be able to catalyse resources from national and international partners to continue the rehabilitation and breathe new life into this iconic monument, which is not only a “postcard” of Chișinău but also a vivid memory from the childhood of many Moldovan citizens. The restoration of national cultural heritage is not only a way to valorise the country's history, but also is a symbol of unity and inclusive identity, which contributes to peace within and between the nations. Culture transcends boundaries, fosters connections, and unites us all, regardless of political or geographical divisions," said Janis Mažeiks, Ambassador of the European Union to the Republic of Moldova.

More than 60 engineers, architects, and construction workers took part in the first phase of the conservation and restoration works. In this phase, the glazed facade of the main building was replaced and tempered glass doors and windows with high-quality heat-resistant profiles were installed. After completion of the European Union-funded works, the interiors of the Chișinău Circus are protected from the action of weather.

"This edifice has both an important sentimental and architectural value for Chișinău inhabitants and beyond. For generations, the Chișinău Circus has captivated audiences serving as a stage for boundless creativity, laughter, and wonder – creating shared moments, positive emotions and bonds among people going beyond one single performance and shared by communities on both banks of Nistru river. Despite multiple crises that Moldova has recently faced, we can proudly assert now that the Chișinău Circus building is fully conserved and protected from adverse weather conditions, while safeguarding its historical character,” said Daniela Gasparikova, UNDP Resident Representative to the Republic of Moldova. 

The funds granted by the European Union through the UNDP-implemented "Confidence Building Measures" Programme covered the costs for detailed technical expertise, technical design, and conservation and restoration works of roof/dome and glass windows.

For the next phases, the Moldovan authorities are expected to attract funding from national resources and from international development partners. 

The Circus of Chișinău is a building of outstanding architectural value, one of the highest examples of modern “brutalist” style world-wide, and since May 2022, the building has been included in the Register of State Protected Monuments. The restoration and conservation of the Circus is carried out in accordance with national and international standards.

Within the framework of the European Union Programme "Confidence Building Measures", implemented by UNDP Moldova, restoration and conservation works are being carried out on 12 cultural-historical sites on both sides of the Nistru river, including two major flagship projects: the Circus in Chișinău and the Tighina (Bender) Fortress. 

The Programme contributes to building trust between the inhabitants of both sides of the Nistru River by involving them in joint development projects.

Laura Bohantova-avatar

Laura Bohantova

Communications Analyst, UNDP Country Office

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