Roşia Montană listed as UNESCO World Heritage candidate

Source: Alburnus Maior

www.rosiamontana.org

Romania's ministry for Culture has added Roşia Montană on the country's tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage sites. The public announcement was made by both the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Environment and comes 6 years after the request was initially submitted.

This is not just a huge gain for our cultural heritage; it's a great victory for civil society - for the thousands of people here and abroad who demanded for Roşia Montană to be saved” says Eugen David, president of the Alburnus Maior Association of local residents.

 Roşia Montană's historic site, which was first mentioned in a document dated from 6 February 131 AD, is part of humanity's most important heritages. “The Roman mines at Roşia Montană are the most extensive and most important underground Roman mines known worldwide”[1], shows a study made by experts from Oxford and Leicester university. The Minister of Culture's decision to include Roşia Montană on Romania's Tentative List for UNESCO sites unequivocally shows a new vision for the future development of this town.

In 2009 the ARA Association, an NGO specialising on architecture, restoration and archaeology submitted a detailed proposal for Roşia Montană to be included on the country's Tentative List of UNESCO[2] World Hertitage sites. The request was ignored by 10 ministers of culture, while on the other hand priority was given to plans to turn the town into Europe's largest open cast cyanide-based gold mine. All the while the proposal to include the site to the Tentative List enjoyed strong support from the national and international scientific community; including the country's Commission for Historical Monuments. From a technical point of view, the act of adding Roşia Montană to the country's list of tentative UNESCO sites was set in stone through the Minister of Culture's signature.

With Roşia Montană inclusion on the country's Tentative List, an extensive file will be prepared in support of the nomination. The process will involve a wide range of players at the central and local level, who together will define the most beneficial scenario for the historic site and its sustainable development. The final decision on the site's nomination for a World Heritage site belongs to UNESCO.

The Minister's announcement comes on the eve of Roşia Montană's birthday, a yearly event celebrated by the Save Roşia Montană Campaign with special cultural events taking place throughout the country. The 6 February marks the date when the antique Alburnus Maior site and today's Roşia Montană was first recorded. 1885 years on, the real potential of this village has finally received an important acknowledgement.

"All those who stood by Roşia Montană and Alburnus Maior throughout the years; join in to celebrate Roşia Montană's birthday and to mark the start for building a new vision for the town's future. On 6 February several local people from Roşia Montană and Câmpeni and all those who know how to fight and celebrate what is really worth while protecting will be in Bucharest. Come and join this celebration," - Eugen David, president of Alburnus Maior Association.

For more information please contact Eugen David (Romanian), mobile: +40 (0)740280309 and Claudia Apostol (English), mobile: +40 (0)731383333 e-mail: alburnusmaior@rosiamontana.ro.

 

 

[1] 1 ”Statement of Significance. Cârnic Massif, Roşia Montană, jud Alba România” - http://goo.gl/mJw1zA
Professor Andrew Wilson (University of Oxford, Institute of Archaeology), // Prof. David Mattingly (University of Leicester, School of Archaeology and Ancient History) // Michael Dawson FSA MIfA, Director of CgMs Consultancy Ltd.

[2] Background Note submitted to the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage on 11.06.2009 and re-submitted on 27.04.2010, http://simpara.ro/Nota%20de%20fundamentare%20Lista%20tentativa%20Rosia%20Montana.pdf