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September 17, 2021

Minister Alexandrescu: We have included Rosia Montana on the World Heritage Tentative List

The Culture Ministry and the Environment Ministry have informed the World Heritage Centre in Paris that they have include the Rosia Montana mining cultural landscape on Romania’s Tentative List for the World Heritage, Culture Minister Vlad Alexandrescu (photo) announced last Friday on his Facebook page.

“This is the first procedural step in view of having it included on this list. At the end of this procedure, we will be able to forward the case file to the World Heritage Centre. Rosia Montana is part of the cultural landscape category that recognizes the positive, value-adding interaction between man and his natural environment,” the minister stated.

He points out that “in the following period I will initiate a series of measures in order to ensure the development of the area through the activation of its resources, cultural and natural heritage.”

According to the Culture Ministry’s website, in line with the estimates Rosia Montana meets five of the criteria set by UNESCO in order for a site to be included on the World Heritage List. The proposed framing, which follows assessments, places Rosia Montana in the category of cultural landscape, which seeks the recognition of a positive, value-adding interaction between man and his natural environment.

“Inclusion on the national tentative list is the first procedural step toward inclusion in the World Heritage list and represents the start of a process of applied research, assessment and implementation of efficient long-term management mechanisms. At the end of this process, which can take several years, the Romanian state may forward the candidacy file to the World Heritage Centre,” the aforementioned source points out.

The assessment process seeks both the wide recognition and protection of the universal value of the Rosia Montana mining cultural landscape, but also the initiation of an integrated development programme for the locality and the surrounding area, based on cultural and natural heritage, and for the support of the local community. In this sense, the Romanian Government will initiate a programme of actions, by using various existing European and national funds for socio-economic development, rural development, infrastructure, education and training domains. This programme will be based on the principles of sustainable development and green economy.

The Culture Ministry also informs that on Saturday, Culture Minister Vlad Alexandrescu will present at the National Peasant Museum, on the occasion of 1885 years since Rosia Montana was first attested, the inclusion of Rosia Montana on Romania’s tentative list and the setting up of a working framework for preparing the World Heritage nomination case, along with the start of measures meant to develop the area through the activation of its perennial resources, cultural and natural heritage.

Rosia Montana has been the most active mining centre of the Apuseni Mountains, starting from the first explorations, dated to the Bronze Age, through Antiquity, the Medieval Age, the Modern Age and up until recently. Traditional mining, based on the initiative of families and small mining associations, ended with nationalisation in 1948, being followed by industrial large-scale mining, which ended in 2006.

The defining traits of the site are mine galleries – for exploration, assistance, airing and water evacuation – excavated from the Roman period through the medieval and modern period, the Roman-era surface landscape, the historical industrial landscape and the Rosia Montana mining fair. The galleries excavated in the mountains around the locality have a total length of over 80 km, of which 7 km are from Antiquity, being the largest and most important system of mines from the Roman era.

According to the aforementioned source, the Rosia Montana cultural mining landscape is not the only site that the Culture Ministry and Environment Ministry plan to include on the World Heritage list.

“Romania never revised the tentative national list of sites that might be included on the World Heritage list, not since the list was first formed, in 1991, despite the fact that it is the obligation of each state that signed the World Heritage Convention to update its tentative list at intervals of 10 years at most. (…) On one hand, Romania has to present viable and remarkable proposals in line with the UNESCO criteria and vision as of 2016, and, on the other hand, to guarantee the conservation and quality of the management of sites already included on the World Heritage List,” the Culture Ministry points out.

In this context, the Culture Ministry and the Environment Ministry are starting the procedure of revising and updating Romania’s tentative list, in order to come up with a sustainable list meant to certify the universal value of the sites in Romania, to define and represent the heritage in a better articulated, more complex, more coherent way and eventually in a way that is more representative for what Romania has, can and should offer to the world, the Culture Ministry communiqué shows.

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