After a 22 Year Delay the Romanian State Returns the Oradea Philharmonic Building to the Catholic Church

After twenty-two years, the official committee responsible for the restitution of properties confiscated during communism finally decided to return the Oradea/Nagyárad city philharmonic’s building to its rightful owner, the Roman Catholic Bishopric of Oradea. In a rare decision, the Special Restitution Committee decided for in-kind restitution as opposed to compensation. The decision was brought on December 15, 2023 and states that the Church must preserve the building’s current use for another ten years.

Built in the 19th century for the archdiocese, in the decades following nationalization the building served as the headquarters for the trade union and the Romanian Communist Party, a cinema, and finally home to the city’s philharmony. The building was renovated and modernized a few years ago and new wings were later added to the complex. The Bihar County Council would have prefered that the Church receive monetary compensation. It is not yet known whether they will appeal the decision – the ability to do so is one of the major flaws plaguing the legislation that regulates property restitution.

[Sources:, February 13, 2024 and]
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