The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Tuesday, September 21, 2021


Romania mining town Rosia Montana eyes UNESCO restart
A facade of an ancient house is supported by the wooden pillars as its interior collapsed in the village of Rosia Montana, western Romania, on July 13, 2021. High up in Romania's Carpathians, some Rosia Montana villagers are hoping their area's unique Roman galleries will attract UNESCO world heritage status -- a decision that would bury a controversial gold mining project. The site nestled in the Apuseni Mountains "contains the most significant, extensive and technically diverse underground Roman gold mining complex currently known in the world", dating from the second century, according to ICOMOS, an advisory body of the UN agency. Daniel MIHAILESCU / AFP.

by Mihaela Rodina / Ionut Iordachescu



ROSIA MONTANA (AFP).- High up in Romania's Carpathians, some villagers are hoping their area's unique Roman galleries will attract UNESCO world heritage status -- a decision that would further stall a controversial gold mining project.

The site nestled in the Apuseni Mountains "contains the most significant, extensive and technically diverse underground Roman gold mining complex currently known in the world", dating from the second century, according to ICOMOS, an advisory body of the UN agency.

But some Rosia Montana villagers worry that this heritage will be destroyed if the gold mining project of Canada's Gabriel Resources -- which would mean the levelling of four peaks -- goes ahead.

"After years of extraction, there would only be a desert left here," Sorin Jurca, himself a former miner, tells AFP.

UNESCO is expected to decide on Sunday whether to accord the Roman mines cultural heritage status, according to Romania's culture ministry.

It is not clear what, if anything, the Romanian government will do if the area wins the status, but it would mean a further stumbling block for the mining project.

"The current mining proposal means that the integrity of the property is highly vulnerable," one UNESCO document on Rosia Montana reads.

Gold mining heritage

But not all locals are in favour of a positive UNESCO decision.

For mayor Eugen Furdui, it "won't bring any benefits, only disadvantages".

"Many people put their faith in a modern mining project so that they won't have to go abroad for work," Furdui tells AFP, hinting at the hundreds of workers the Canadian company said it would hire.

The seeds of discord were sown in the 90s when Gabriel Resources came to Rosia Montana with the intention of extracting 300 tonnes of gold and 1,600 tonnes of silver.

Its subsidiary, Rosia Montana Gold Corporation (RMGC), in which the Romanian state holds 20 percent, received a mining concession in 1999.

But the project -- including plans to use 12,000 tonnes of cyanide per year to separate gold from crushed rock -- drew the ire of environmentalists and others.

With tens of thousands of people protesting against the project, Romania's former leftwing government withdrew its support in 2013, and the project has so far failed to get the necessary environmental approval.




In 2016, Romania declared Rosia Montana a site of historical interest, granting it protection from mining activity -- though conservationists say the protection under local law is not enough.

Meanwhile, Gabriel Resources has taken Romania before the World Bank's International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, seeking $4.4 billion (3.7 billion euros) in damages.

A verdict is expected at the end of 2022, but the company, contacted by AFP, does not rule out launching another legal case if Bucharest's UNESCO bid, launched in 2017, is successful.

'Everything would disappear'

Among the locals fiercely opposed to the project is retired topographer Eugen Cornea.

"Only the Taliban destroy their vestiges," the 70-year-old tells AFP.

"This valley would disappear", swallowed by the ensuing reservoir of mining waste, he says as he sits on a mountain ledge, drawing a large arc with one hand over the area below.

"Two villages, three churches, one of which was built in 1720 -- everything would disappear."

The years of bitter dispute and stagnation have left deep marks on Rosia Montana.

In preparation for the mining work, RMGC bought many homes from villagers who then left so that those houses -- splendid tall buildings with carved wooden doors -- stand empty and now risk collapsing.

Supported by dozens of volunteers, archeologist couple Claudia and Virgil Apostol have been restoring some of these old residences to their former splendour over the past ten years.

"These buildings can still be saved, but the more time passes the more difficult it will be," Claudia Apostol says on the porch of an already restored parish house.

Tica Darie, who came to Rosia Montana in 2013 "full of dreams", is also hoping to offer locals a future without mining.

"I found myself on a battlefield at that time," says the 28-year-old, whose small business, "Made in Rosia Montana", has recruited around 30 local women to knit socks, scarves and pullovers out of merino wool.

"I came here determined to do something and to succeed no matter what. And I think I did just that", says Darie, adding that people are "tired" of debating the mining project and want to move on.


© Agence France-Presse










Today's News

July 24, 2021

A painting or an NFT of it: Which will be more valuable?

Jewish burial records among items seized by U.S. authorities

Ed Atkins and his mum are starring in a museum show

Frist Art Museum opens major Kara Walker exhibition

Splash of colour: UK beach huts brighten pandemic gloom

Suzanne Cotter appointed new Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia

White House on defensive over Hunter Biden art sales

Salzburg festival hall, a world temple in the sound of music

Vladimir Menshov, surprise Russian Oscar winner, dies at 81

Fans honour Amy Winehouse in London decade after her death

Meadows Museum announces appointment of two curatorial fellows

Maureen Paley opens a solo exhibition of works by Sarah Jones

Belvedere 21 presents 'Lois Weinberger: Basics'

Rare Campaign sofa comes up for auction at Bellmans

'En Plein Air Reloaded: Green Fuse' opens at Black & White Gallery / Project Space

Transformed Asian Art Museum unveils new pavilion with teamLab: Continuity

Nobel Prize awarded to immunogeneticist George Snell in 1980 to be auctioned

Romania mining town Rosia Montana eyes UNESCO restart

The music scene in this Brooklyn neighborhood is here to stay

At Salzburg, Don Giovanni gets no pleasure from seducing

A violinist on how to empower Asian musicians

Oscar Murillo unveils his global project Frequencies at his former school in Hackney

Great Barrier Reef avoids UNESCO 'in danger' listing

Avignon Festival forges ahead, despite virus restrictions

How to Improve Your Creative Skills?

Selecting The Best Bathroom Accessories

How Do You Pick The Best Windows For Your Home?

Is There A Chance I Could Lose My Job For A DUI?

If I've Been In A Vehicle Accident, Do I Need A Lawyer?

What Are The Costs Involved In Window Installation?

How Do I Go About Finding The Right Window/Door Materials?

Tips to Select the Perfect Gift For a Picky Individual




Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 



Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

sa gaming free credit

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org avemariasound.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site Parroquia Natividad del Señor
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful