Antiques

Some of the streets in and around Lipscani (the old district between Piata Unirii and Universitatii) have some quality antique shops (anticariat) and second-hand (consignazie) that are worth delving into. From second-hand computers to communist memorabilia, most of what you see can be haggled down in price. There is a small possibility that what you're buying would be considered as being national patrimony, but it can be difficult (although important) to know. If in doubt, contact the oficiul pentru Patrimoniul Nazional Cultural Bucureşti, Calea Victoriei 118, tel. 659 55 24. If the object is, make sure that your passport number is written on the receipt, and take with you two photos of the desired object (9x13cm) and 100,000 lei, write a formal request and wait. If you're keen to export religious art (genuine icons - not the ones sold for 50,000 lei in tourist areas), you must also get permission from the Patriarchie (church authorities), Bulevardul Coşbuc, tel. 337 40 31.

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