Roma people to give Madonna gold plaque
BUCAREST (AFP) – The self-proclaimed king of the Roma said Tuesday he wants to give Madonna a gold plaque to thank the singer for criticising discrimination against his people.
Madonna performed in Bucharest in August as part of her "Sticky and Sweet" tour, and at the concert said she was "very sad" because of the "discrimination against Romas and Gypsies in general in eastern Europe".
Self-declared king Florin Cioaba said the Roma wanted to show their appreciation for the US star's gesture.
"Madonna deserves great credit. She drew the whole world's attention to discrimination against the Roma," Cioaba told journalists in the central Romanian town of Sibiu.
The plaque has been ordered from a jeweller in Italy and will be made from 24-carat gold, the Romanian news agency Mediafax reported.
Romania has one of Europe's largest communities of Roma, an ethnic minority believed to originate from the Indian subcontinent often referred to as Gypsies.
Discrimination against the group in Romania continues: a survey last September found that seven out of 10 Romanians would not want a Roma to be part of their family, and Madonna was jeered by the crowd when she made her remarks at the concert.
Last year Amnesty International criticised the Romanian authorities' lack of action to tackle discrimination against Roma, a problem it said was "widespread and deeply ingrained in (people's) minds."