Prior to being integrated in the future Mining Museum, RMGC has partially rehabilitated the famous Roman gallery Catalina-Monulesti, which can now be safely visited
- The symposium organized by Alba Iulia National Union Museum and “1 Decembrie 1918” University of Alba Iulia focuses on the presentation of the findings in Catalina-Monulesti Gallery, Rosia Montana.
- Recent radiocarbon datings attest 2nd century Roman mining activities conducted in this area.
- Part of the gallery was rehabilitated by Rosia Montana Gold Corporation (RMGC) and can be safely visited by the public.
Alba Iulia, May 3rd, 2012. Ten years of archaeological research in Rosia Montana– this is the topic of a debate gathering around one hundred Romanian and foreign historians and archaeologists at Alba Iulia, during a symposium organised by Alba Iulia National Union Museum and “1 Decembrie 1918” University of Alba Iulia, in partnership with the National Romanian History Museum.
The event includes presentations and debates, an exhibition set up in the University Rectorate building and a visit to Catalina-Monulesti Gallery from Rosia Montana, which is undergoing restoration works. The attending guests include specialists Beatrice Cauuet, Laboratoire TRACES-CNRS, Université Le Mirail, Toulouse; David Jennings, Oxford Archaeology; Acad. Alexandru Vulpe, President of the Archaeology and Historical Sciences Department of the Romanian Academy; Acad. Razvan Theodorescu, member of the Arts, Architecture and Audio-Visual Department of the Romanian Academy; Paul Damian, Deputy Director of the National Romanian History Museum, Bucharest; Moise Achim, pro-rector of “1 Decembrie 1918” University of Alba Iulia; Constantin Inel, Deputy Director of Alba Iulia National Union Museum.
The specialists will present the background of the archaeological researches in Rosia Montana and the current situation of the cultural heritage here, the role of the authorities in the preservation of the heritage and the projects to valorize it, with focus on the restoration of Catalina-Monulesti Gallery.
To date, in accordance with the commitments taken for the development of the mining project, Rosia Montana Gold Corporation (RMGC) supported extensive researches and rehabilitated a significant part of this internationally-renowned gallery, so that the public can visit an area safely. “There are similar galleries also in Brad, Bucium or Almasu Mare, but Catalina-Monulesti is the first Roman gallery rehabilitated for safe public access and can be integrated, after the end of the works, in the tourist circuit”, declares Adrian Gligor, Vice-President for Patrimony and Sustainable Development, RMGC.
Based on radiocarbon dating, the experts in mining archaeology established that the artifacts found in Catalina-Monulesti gallery, coming from the access stairs and a hydraulic water evacuation equipment, date back to the Roman age (2nd century A.D.). The gallery will be part of the future mining museum to be developed by RMGC in parallel with the mining project. The accurate dating of the artifacts is the more important as they are in an excellent preservation state, which will ensure increased relevance for the future tourist route.
“The finding in-situ of this coherent set of Roman artifacts is particularly important. A unitary and coherent set of vestiges is thus set to be a significant tourist attraction in the future mining museum that RMGC committed to develop in Catalina-Monulesti sector.This mining perimeter will be possible to visit safely, and the visitors will have the opportunity to discover the remarkable engineering quality of the Roman miners, from the point of view of the actual mining works (trapezoidal-shaped galleries, inclined planes), as well as the settings and equipment used underground to provide security (reinforcements), circulation (monoxile stairs, etc.) and evacuate the underground waters”, emphasizes dr. Beatrice Cauuet, specialist in mining archaeology and coordinator of the research works.
According to the specialists who study the area, a modern mining project is the only viable solution to rescue the cultural heritage from Rosia Montana. “The Rosia Montana case must be treated highly responsible, but without preconceptions and exaggerated subjectivism. Through emotional arguments and the conveyance of fake information, an attempt has been made so far to accredit the idea that the main threat to the heritage comes from the mining project, ignoring RMGC’s concerns to massively invest in its rescuing and restoration, as well as its advanced degradation when RMGC announced its intention to conduct activities in the area. In addition hereto, the organisations and individuals who favor the ban on industrial activities did not provide any real constructive proposal for alternative development or a reasonable compromise initiative”, believes academician Razvan Theodorescu, member of the Independent Group for Monitoring the Cultural Patrimony of Rosia Montana (GIMPRCM).
“I have carefully analyzed the whole mining project, I have exchanged opinions with a series of experts and what we have to do is not choosing between the valorization of the cultural heritage and industrial development, but finding the best method for the industrial development to be able to ensure the heritage protection. The mining project proposes a viable solution, which must be carefully monitored, but the important thing is that it enables us to rescue a cultural heritage which is very important for Apuseni and for Romania”, emphasizes Theodorescu.
Since last summer, GIMPCRM has been recommending the competent authorities to expedite the decision-making on the implementation of the mining project proposed by RMGC. “Extending this uncertainty, the absence of investments in the patrimony, as well as its advanced degradation get us closer and closer to the moment when the disastrous situation of the majority of the patrimony assets reach an irreversible turn. GIMPCRM draws the attention that the absence of coherent national policies in the field, the application of the existing legal provisions, makes the situation in Rosia Montana be illustrative for the state of the national heritage”, said the patrimony specialists at the time.
The symposium at “1 Decembrie 1918” University of Alba Iulia hosts also the exhibition “Mining, continuous history in Rosia Montana”, presenting artifacts found in Rosia Montana within the “Alburnus Maior” National Research Program (2001 – 2006), initiated by the Ministry of Culture and National Patrimony and coordinated by the Romanian History Museum, with RMGC financing according to the legal requirements.
About Rosia Montana Gold Corporation
Rosia Montana Gold Corporation (RMGC) is a company established in 1997, in Alba County, whose shareholders are the mining state company Minvest Deva – with 19.31%, and Gabriel Resources – with 80.69%. RMGC is due to develop the most modern mine in Romania, in Rosia Montana, bringing major benefits to the Romanian economy. As a model mine, Rosia Montana Project will set up a new standard for responsible gold mining, both at the level of the European Union and worldwide.