Romanian Academy officials call for responsibility for the effects of gold mining project

Autor: Claudiu.Padurean din 30 iulie 2011, Vizualizari: 1 762

The Romanian Academy presiding forum makes an appeal to authorities to carefully look into the effects of running the projects of gold and silver exploitation in Apuseni Mountains (western Romania), so that to avoid to harm Romania's interests.

'Considering the complexity and the various aspects of this project, the Romanian Academy presiding forum decided during the Wednesday session to maintain their position previously stated and their concern on the possible consequences and risks, especially on medium and long term,' reads a release sent to Agerpres on Wednesday, July 27, by the press office of the prestigious forum.

The three members of the Romanian Academy part of the 'Independent group of monitoring the Rosia Montana project' are not authorised representatives of the Academy and voiced their personal beliefs only, representing but a minority not supported by most of the Academy members, according to the Academy presiding forum.

The session was attended by the presidents of the different specializations and of the subsidiaries in the country, Cluj (central western Romania), Iasi (eastern Romania) and Timisoara (western Romania), who talked about recent aspects related to the gold mining exploitation project in Apuseni Mountains.

Recently, the Romanian Academy, Pro Patrimonio and ICOMOS Romania requested the Ministry of Culture and National Patrimony 'to save the mining historical site Rosia Montana (ancient Alburnus Maior, central western Romania), a priceless element of the universal patrimony, threatened by imminent extinction in case the mining project proposed by Rosia Montana Gold Corporation (RMGC) gets the green light from the Romanian Government.'

The Romanian Academy presiding forum said last year that the gold deposits in Romania's soil are a non-renewable resource of strategic importance, property of the Romanian state, whose fate can be decided only by the local authorities. The Bureau of the Romanian Academy presiding forum said that the decision on the gold exploitation should be made only by consulting the entire population, possibly by a national referendum.

Regarding the Rosia Montana project, the Romanian Academy warned back in 2009 about what they deem as 'an error with negative effects on the community, environment and archaeological sites in the area,' underlining the 'risky consequences for the Romanian state.'

'An objective analysis proves that the project is not beneficial for the public interest and therefore does not justify the negative collateral effects and the risks involved in the project,' read the Romanian Academy statement.

According to the website of the Rosia Montana Gold Corporation, the Independent Group for Monitoring the Cultural Patrimony in Rosia Montana (GIMPCRM) posted its conclusions and recommendations, after six months of research and discussions with experts in the field, the patrimony experts opinion being that the mining project Rosia Montana is the only proper solution of rehabilitation and restoration of the patrimony in the area, by the financial investments proposed by the aforementioned company.

GIMPCRM has a set of 17 specific recommendations, most of them directed to RMGC, some of them directed to the competent authorities, in order to make sure the measures of protection and of valuing the patrimony have most beneficial effects.

The experts group also believe the alternative plans of development of Rosia Montana, starting from the 'in situ' conservation and then creating a tour of all elements of patrimony, are mostly generous statements without a realistic implementing basis.

As the data and information in the GIMPCRM report reveal, Rosia Montana does not meet the criteria and standards in the UNESCO regulations, with the Rosia Montana patrimony impossible to save even under UNESCO protection, without a massive investment plan, which cannot be provided either by UNESCO or by the public funds.

At the end of the document sent, GIMPCRM recommends to the competent authorities to hasten the decisional process on implementing the mining project proposed by RMGC. 'Prolonging the uncertainty state, the lack of investments in patrimony, as well as its advanced degree of degradation lead us inexorably to the moment when there will be no way back from the pitiful state of most patrimony elements. GIMPCRM warns that the absence of national coherent policies in the field, of the means to enforce the law makes the situation at Rosia Montana to be an example for the state of the national patrimony,' according to the specialists.

'The independent group of monitoring the Rosia Montana project' was created in February 2011, being made up of: academician Alexandru Vulpe, president of the Archaeology and Historical Science of the Romanian Academy, academician Razvan Theodorescu, member of the Arts, Architecture and Audio-Visual area of the Romanian Academy and general secretary of the International Association of South-Eastern European Studies (UNESCO), academician Ioan Aurel Pop, member of the Archaeology and Historical Science section of the Romanian Academy, professor Nicolae Gudea, PhD, of the Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, senior lecturer Alexandru Diaconescu, Faculty of History and Philosophy of the Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, senior lecturer Florin Anghel, PhD, Faculty of History and Political Science of the Ovidius University in Constanta and professor architect Augustin Ioan, PhD, the University of Architecture and Urban Planning 'Ion Mincu' in Bucharest.
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