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Canadian company Gabriel Resources threatens Romania with new trial when Rosia Montana was included on the list of UNESCO World Patrimony


The Canadian company Gabriel Resources does not exclude launching a new trial against Romania as effect of including Rosia Montana mining landscape on the list of UNESCO World Patrimony. The request of inclusion in the World Patrimony is against Romania's obligations, according to international treatises, in its relations with Gabriel Resources, is the company's warning, quoted by AFP. The company also says that its mining project would have generated “huge economic profits”for Romania.


Adrian Cioroianu, Romania's permanent delegate to UNESCO, said: “not all Rosia Montana was included in the UNESCO Patrimony, just a n area that appears in the file presented by the government of Romania in January 2017 and then in January 2020. The file mentions mainly the former Roman mine and not the entire Rosia Montana area.”

The historian also pointed out that “the inclusion on the World Patrimony list does not exclude the continuation of exploitation in the area, sometimes in the future, by Romanian companies or in partnerships. In the recent UNESCO history there have been cases of states that decided to change/exploit some sites, for which they were withdrawn from the World Patrimony list. The inclusion of the gold mines in the UNESCO World Patrimony is a decision which could “bury” the controversial exploitation project in the area. In that respect, locals are divided: some defend this treasure, while others think extraction may save the area.


Before the power in Romania was taken over by communists in 1946, Rosia Montana streets hosted casinos and bank offices where gold diggers sold their gold.

Including the archaeological site on the UNESCO World Patrimony list closes the door to exploiting tons of precious minerals that make subsoil of the area the biggest gold reserve in Europe, EFE writes. The decision was applauded by environment organizations such as Greenpeace, which consider that it is a protection measure against other attempts to exploit precious mineral reserves in the area.


But, Eugen Furdui, the mayor of Rosia Montana said the UNESCO decision to include Rosia Montana in the world patrimony is unfavorable for the community and for Romania and does not bring benefits for the locals.


Certainly, at present it is an unfavorable decision for the community and the country. But that is reality and we cannot be against. There will not bring benefits to the community at this moment, only hardships , that is extra obligations about rebuilding and renovating a building. As proposed, this perimeter does not bring benefits for the community or the country. Let us not forget that the biggest gold resource in Europe is blocked for medium and long time,”Furdui said at Digi 24 on Tuesday.


He added that the UNESCO decision is unfavorable for the community because the restoration and modernization of any building included in UNESCO patrimony needs special approval and bureaucracy.


Locals are not rich, rural people were used to repair their building as they could. We do not see other benefits besides facilitating the visit to Rosia Montana site at the moment,” the mayor of Rosia Montana said. He pointed out that he would request funds from authorities.


He added that most of the community did not want the introduction in the UNESCO patrimony, as the project was made and only historical sites should have been included.


Rosia Montana day is “an unofficial anniversary of the first documentary mentioning – on February 6, 131 – of the Roman settlement which was in the area occupied now by Rosia Montana”. One of the Roman tablets discovered in the 18th and 19th centuries in the Rosia Montana galleries proves the documentary mentioning . The tablets mention contracts, inventories, juridical documents that are important sources for knowing Roman law. Tablet 18 also preserves, besides the date, the name of the settlement: Alburnus Maior - Rosia Montana.


Rosia Montana was the most active mining center of the Apuseni Mountains, starting with the first diggings in the Bronze Age, continuing with the Antiquity and the Medieval periods, the Modern Age to the recent past. Traditional mining, based on the initiative of families and small mining associations, ended with nationalization in 1948, being followed by another form of mining, the industrial, large scale one, concluded in 2006.

(Photo: https://www.facebook.com/muzeuRM/)