by Dan Lungu
Culture Minister Daniel Barbu declared, on Tuesday, in Rosia Montana, that the locality has no chance to be registered now on the UNESCO heritage list, specifying that it will have bigger chances in 7-10 years, if the Roman and medieval galleries are preserved and the old buildings are restored.
Daniel Barbu said that he is optimistic about the listing of Rosia Montana on the UNESCO tentative list, but only if the restoration and preservation program started in the area continues.
“I am convinced that if what I’ve seen today (i.e. Tuesday) continues and we really have around 30 km of Roman, Medieval and Teresian preserved, if the 120 buildings which have to be preserved are restored, then the site will have a refreshed and restored urban look. I think that it is only in 7-10 years that we will really have very high chances to develop a project for listing on the UNESCO tentative list. As the site looks now, we have no chance. That is, such an effort is in vain”, Barbu said.
Culture Minister Daniel Barbu and members of the Joint Standing Commission of the Chamber of Deputies and of the Senate on the relation with UNESCO went to a visit to Rosia Montana on Tuesday in order to assess the local cultural heritage and the impact that a new mining exploitation would have upon it.
The MPs who accompanied Daniel Barbu to Rosia Montana included Raluca Turcan, Gabriela Vrânceanu Firea and Traian Igas.
The Minister and the MPs visited the pit of the former mining exploitation from Rosia Montana and had meetings with representatives of the local and county authorities, with the mayors from the communes that would be affected by the mining project and representatives of the mining company Rosia Montana Gold Corporation.
The delegation also had a meeting with the NGOs which support the project and the representatives of the employees’ trade union. A meeting was also scheduled with the opponents of the mining project, but they refused to participate.
The president of the Goldworkers’ Association, Alburnus Maior, Eugen David, declared to the journalists present in Rosia Montana that the opponents refused to take part in the meeting with the Minister of Culture and the MPs from the Commission for the relation with UNESCO on ground that the meeting takes place in a building which was restored by the mining company and which will be turned into a hotel in the future.
Several hundreds of supporters, mostly employees of the mining company, gathered in the center of the commune and displayed a banner with the message “Mining means jobs”. Most of the participants in the action were wearing miners’ overalls and helmets. They were chanting “Save mining” or “Mining means jobs” and were greeting the officials with “Noroc bun”, the specific greeting used by the miners before going down in the mine.
A few dozens of opponents of the mining project also gathered in the area – local inhabitants or young members of environmental organizations militating against the project.