LOOK: Romanian cobbler keeps people apart with size 75 shoes

UNTV News   •   June 3, 2020   •   239

Grigore Lup, a Romanian shoemaker from the Transylvanian city of Cluj came up with the idea of long-nosed leather shoes to help keep people apart and respect the rules of social distancing.

They come in a European size 75.

“I saw people crowding and not respecting the social distancing rules and I said to myself let’s make a shoe either to punish them or that they could actually wear (them) and maybe that way they will keep the distance,” said Lup, who has been making leather shoes for 39 years.

Lup said that if two people wearing his size 75 shoes faced each other, there would be almost one-and-a-half metre distance between them.

While he also sells ready-made shoes, Lup’s shop, which he opened in 2001, relies heavily on custom orders from theatres and opera houses across the country, as well as traditional folk dance ensembles.

His business ground to a virtual standstill as live events were cancelled or postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, but he was cautiously optimistic that sales would recover over time.

The European Union state, which has reported 18,791 cases of the coronavirus and 1,240 deaths, began gradually easing its lockdown on May 15.

Lup, who said he adapted the long footwear from a model he made for actors, said he had so far received five orders for social distancing shoes.

It takes him two days to make a pair, which requires almost one square metre of leather. They cost 500 lei ($115) a pair.

Now 55, Lup first started making shoes when he was 16, learning from a cobbler who at 93 today still makes traditional ethnic Hungarian footwear. (Reuters)

(Production: Raul Stef/Inguam, Luiza Ilie, Malgorzata Wojtunik, Anna Dabrowska)


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