Acting on the initiative of ICOMOS România, ICOMOS Canada, ICOMOS Hungary and ICOMOS's executive committee, experts who gathered in Paris for the 17th General Meeting of ICOMOS (UNESCO's consulting body for cultural heritage issues) adopted a resolution reminding Romania's competent authorities (the Ministry for Culture and national Patrimony) that the protection of Rosia Montana's cultural patrimony is a priority!
This resolution follows a long series of resolutions and positions taken by ICOMOS as well as national and international scientific and heritage bodies against the inception of the mine proposal at Rosia Montana.
The resolution underlines once more Rosia Montana's exceptional heritage value; it draws attention to the serious threats entailed with the start-up of the mine works and expresses concern about administrative decisions already taken (i.e. the archaeological discharge of Mount Carnic) and demolition works already undertaken by the mining company.
Please find below the resolution's full text:
ICOMOS Resolution GA 2011/17
Protection of cultural heritage in relation to mining exploration and operation: Rosia Montana
Submitted by ICOMOS Executive Committee, ICOMOS Canada, ICOMOS Romania, ICOMOS Hungary
I. Protection of cultural heritage in relation to mining exploration and operation
The 17th General Assembly of ICOMOS
Considering the important archaeological, built, technological, landscape and intangible cultural heritage resulting from mining activities in the history of ancient or modern human societies and its recognition in inventories of industrial heritage or on the World Heritage List and its Tentative List,
Considering the growing pressures from the mining exploration and operations on cultural heritage and, consequently, the concerns of civil society and specialized institutions and organizations as well as authorities in charge of the implementation of the World Heritage Convention,
Acknowledging the efforts invested by UNESCO and the International Council of Mining and Metals (ICMM) for the integration of cultural heritage, in particular that of indigenous and local people, and natural heritage in the planning and operation of mining activities,
Requests the Executive Committees to enter into cooperation with the ICMM to develop good practice guidelines which will include a full range of cultural heritage considerations on mining exploration and operations, and to offer the collaboration of ICOMOS to that purpose.
II. Concerning a particular heritage site impacted by mining activity: Rosia Montana / Alburnus Maior (Romania)
The 17th General Assembly of ICOMOS,
Recalling the resolutions nr. 20 of the 13th general Assembly of ICOMOS held in Madrid, Spain, resolution no 1b of the 14th Extraordinary General Assembly, held in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, resolution of the ICOMOS Conference held in Pecs, Hungary, 22-27 may 2004, the ICAHM Statement on the mining concept at Rosia Montana in Lyon, France, at the European Archaeological Association Conference on 9 September 2004, resolution no. 8 of the 15 th General Assembly of ICOMOS, meeting in Xi'an, China, October 2005, and resolution no. 4 of the 16 th General Assembly of ICOMOS held in Québec, Canada, October 2008; and all actions of ICOMOS and its National Romanian Committee to bring a resolution to this conflict and an international recognition of this exceptional archaeological and cultural landscape associated to historical mining activities,
Taking into consideration all previously issued statement of official, scientific and professional institutions and bodies and thus of several NGO's and religious communities; and also new developments both in administrative measures and in the large scale on-site demolitions by the mining company;
Noting the information received on recent similar situations in other mining sites of the area, which are threatening the archaeological, architectural and historical heritage of the cultural landscape of the Apuseni Mountains;
Affirming the significance of Rosia Montana / Alburnus Maior, a cultural landscape which evolved over two millennia, from the unique vestiges of the Roman underground mining system, to the Middle Ages, Renaissance and the Modern Times, together with the traditional mining town, inherited from the Habsburg times;
Reiterating its deepest concern about the planned mining operations that threaten Rosia Montana and its surroundings; and recognizing the necessity to launch emergency measures for the salvaging, conservation and restoration of the heritage features of Rosia Montana;
Recalling that on November 27, 2011, the Advisory Committee of ICOMOS invited the President of ICOMOS, together with the Romanian national Committee, to continue their efforts to develop a process through which ICOMOS may use the wide range of expertise amongst its member to deal with this extremely sensitive issue;
Calls upon all the authorities in charge of the management, protection and conservation of Romania's Heritage to reinforce their commitment and ensure that precedence is given to the protection, conservation and enhancement of cultural heritage and to implement policies and best practices consequently.