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The Iron Curtain seemed to encircle Romania even more tightly than the other Eastern Bloc countries, but now that the borders have opened the nation’s art and culture are due for re-evaluation. Romanian-born Georgetown University professor Mariana Carpinisan is doing just that, studying the striking exterior frescoes of the 15th- and 16th-century monasteries in the rural Bulkovina region. In a slide-illustrated Smithsonian Resident Associates lecture, “The Painted Monasteries of Romania,” Carpinisan discusses the frescoes, which combine Byzantine and Gothic motifs with local folklore in a style that has all but vanished in other parts of Eastern Europe. At 6 p.m. at the Smithsonian Institution’s Dillon-Ripley Center Lecture Hall, 1100 Jefferson Drive. SW. $13. (202) 357-3030. (MJ)