By the time Romanian authorities have decided on the fate of Rosia Montana, the locality may have gone extinct already and be just a sign on the map. It already looks like a ghostly settlement. Over 20 houses were demolished. Others were vandalized or left to go to ruin. Still the law has it that they are to be preserved and protected. This is what the members of the "Architecture. Restoration. Archeology" Associations have claimed. They have been trying, although so far in vain, to address the Ministry of Culture and Cults on it. A report on this state of things was to reach the National Committee for Historical Monuments next Thursday. But it was taken out of the agenda in the last minute.
Illegal and out of date authorizations
Architect Stefan Balici, a vice president of the above-mentioned association, explains: "The Rosia Montana Gold Corporation started to clean the land and prepare it for the controversial mining project they have been trying to promote for 11 years now. The company demolished more than 120 houses out of the 138 it was allowed to, due to an authorization released by the City Hall in the locality. All these houses were the company's property. They were situated in this village and the neighboring ones, some that were to vanish away in case the project started: Corna, Bunta, Blidesti, Balmosesti, Tarina."
Of course the Canadian investor claims the action was perfectly legal: the demolished houses were his property, the City Hall agreed to the demolishing. So what is the problem?
One problem is that the authorizations were out of date. Moreover, they had been illegal from the very beginning. Stefan Balici argues: "All the 80 houses in the village of Rosia Montana were situated in an area provided with protection for the historical monuments on the inferior side of the village. But they were demolished, because of the authorizations, although there was need of consent from the National Committee for Historical Monuments in order to demolish them. In such cases, the District Council in Alba is in charge of releasing authorizations." By releasing documents he was not entitled to release, the mayor of Rosia Montana village went beyond his legal attributions. Authorizations released by breaking the law are null.
But such 'details' didn't prevent the Canadian company and the demolishing went on. The vice president of the ARA adds: "Many of the buildings were valuable historical buildings, recognized as such in the urbanistic documentation now in force. Their disappearance is a significant loss for the local and national cultural heritage. Because of this loss more than 20% of the Rosia Montana village is now extinct. Important surfaces from the other villages were also destroyed."