After years of silence concerning the disputed Verespatak (Romanian: Roşia Montană) site – the mountain containing one of the largest gold deposits in Europe – the Romanian PM has announced that he will urge the government to initiate the process of adding the site to the UNESCO World Heritage list. The RDMSZ has a different view of the matter, however, and is calling for real action, instead of just dreaming.
“It is impossible to mine Verespatak/Roşia Montană because the mining company doesn’t have the necessary licenses to do so. On the other hand, during the past five years, since the licensing process was halted, the Romanian government hasn’t spent a cent on preserving the site, though Hunor Kelemen listed the entire mine-system as nationally protected historic monument. ,” RMDSZ spokeswoman Csilla Hegedüs told TransylvaniaNOW.
“Unfortunately, the UNESCO nomination was put together in a hurry, and neither the local community nor the local administration has assumed the burden of managing and preserving the valuable site.
The Romanian government is a bad host: It isn’t able to maintain and renovate the sites already part of the UNESCO World Heritage list (i.e., the Dacian fortresses and the Danube Delta). With this in mind, a UNESCO listing is a weak excuse. Unfortunately, the Verespatak/Roşia Montană site can be saved only by real action and a proactive attitude from the Romanian government, not a UNESCO Heritage listing, she adds.
If Verespatak is finally listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it would be removed after the first monitoring because the documentation contains dreams. The proposals and work plans have nothing to do with reality; hence, no one has assumed responsibility for them, and Verespatak is dying day by day,” Hegedüs said, adding that RMDSZ consideres that Verespatak’s built heritage deserves to be included in the Unesco list.
Title image: The Verespatak/Roşia Montană site is dying day by day. Image credit: Aljazeera