Roșia Montană Nominated for Inscription on UNESCO World Heritage List
On January 4, 2017, the Romanian Ministry of Culture submitted the “Roșia Montană Mining Landscape” nomination document to UNESCO for inclusion on the World Heritage list. The Minister of Culture, Corina Șuteu, assumed responsibility for the submission, after informing and consulting with Prime Minister Dacian Cioloș, and with support from the Ministry of External Affairs.
Protecting the country’s national heritage is one of the main responsibilities of the Ministry of Culture and among its fundamental prerogatives. The Roșia Montană nomination to UNESCO completes a course of action initiated in 2011, when the National Commission for Historical Monuments officially recommended the inclusion of Roșia Montană on the UNESCO World Heritage List, which continued when Roșia Montană was added to Romania’s Tentative List to UNESCO in February 2016. Therefore, submitting the “Roșia Montană Mining Landscape” nomination document to UNESCO is not a surprise provisional act by the Romanian interim Government, and is in no way restricted by that government’s limited powers. Instead, it is an administrative act concerning the preservation of the national heritage.
The outstanding value of Roșia Montană is acknowledged and affirmed by an unprecedented number of professional groups, institutions and organizations active in research and heritage preservation, in Romania and abroad, including ICOMOS, the International Council on Monuments and Sites. Once the outstanding value of a monument is identified, Article 4 of the UNESCO Convention imposes a duty to start procedures to protect and conserve the monument. Its inscription on the World Heritage List is the first step to this end.
International recognition of the universal value of the national heritage is part of the obligations imposed by Romanian law and by the UNESCO Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (which has been signed by Romania). We considered it necessary to approach this subject through its essential characteristic: a historical monument of national significance (acknowledged as such by the Romanian State) and universal importance, which can be found on the list of the seven most endangered European sites (1) and among the most endangered sites in the world (2). International recognition of such sites of outstanding value is precisely the mission of UNESCO World Heritage and of Romania, signatory of the UNESCO Convention.
At the moment, Romania has six cultural sites and one natural site on the UNESCO World Heritage List: the Churches of Moldavia, the Dacian Fortresses of the Orăștie Mountains, the Historic Centre of Sighișoara, the Monastery of Horezu, the Villages with Fortified Churches in Transylvania, the Wooden Churches of Maramureş and the Danube Delta.
Former Minister of Culture Corina Șuteu expresses her hope that the new Minister of Culture, Ioan Vulpescu, will support and continue this initiative in good faith and with utmost diligence.
The final decision regarding the inclusion of Roșia Montană on the UNESCO World Heritage List is exclusively in the hands of the World Heritage Committee, based on the nomination document and in conformity with the following schedule:
February - August 2017: Technical evaluation of the nomination document (desk review);
September 2017: Field visit to evaluate the nominated cultural landscape;
July 2018: Analysis among the World Heritage Committee and a final decision regarding its inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
For more information regarding Roșia Montană’s relevance, please visit the site created by the Ministry of Culture through the National Heritage Institute: http://rosiamontana.world.
A video explaining why Roșia Montană deserves to be a UNESCO site (in Romanian): https://youtu.be/oElgjSp4F-w
Europa Nostra: www.europanostra.org/news/336
World Monuments Watch: www.wmf.org/project/roșia-montană-mining-landscape