The inclusion of the Rosia Montana locality in Romania on the UNESCO world heritage list has been deferred after the debates of the 42nd session of the Committee for the UNESCO World Heritage, which is taking place in Manama, Bahrain during June 24-July 4.
The file „Rosia Montana Cultural Mining Landscape” was sent by the Romanian Culture Ministry to join UNESCO world heritage list on January 4, 2017 and it had got the the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) go-ahead for being listed.
Romania has been represented in Bahrain by Ştefan Răzvan Rab, secretary of state with the Culture Ministry, who was mandated to ask for the delay of listing until the conclusion of the trial in Washington, the dispute with Gabriel Resources.
Referring to the decision to postpone debates on Rosia Montana, Romania’s ambassador to UNESCO, Adrian Cioroianu said on Sunday that the Romanian delegation had just delivered the Culture Ministry’s request to defer the Rosia Montana case. Cioroianu added that he and the Romania’s delegation to UNESCO had lobbied for the admission and success of the Rosia Montana file to UNESCO for the past one year and a half and that’s why he had decided to not attend the Bahrain session, for he would have not been so convincing in claiming a different approach.
The Viorica Dancila cabinet put on hold the procedure to include Rosia Montana locality in the UNESCO heritage one month ago. The application to put the file on hold was made by the Ministry of Culture and sent to the Romanian Ambassador to UNESCO through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Adrian Cioroianu has told G4Media.ro.
The reason behind the decision is that Romania is on trial with arbitration against Gabriel Resources, the main shareholder of Rosia Montana Gold Corporation, which demands USD 4.4 billion damages because the gold mining was blocked.
“We were very glad when ICOMOS has made public the recommendation to include the site in the heritage. When we delivered the news to Bucharest, we received a directive from the Ministry of Culture, through the Foreign Ministry, to request, on behalf of the Government, to put the file on hold, not to withdraw it, as well as a meeting between a Government delegation and UNESCO. The reason? During the Ciolos cabinet and during the current cabinet, the Finance Ministry and the Economy Ministry did not support the request to include the site on the World Heritage. They say that during the proceedings against Gabriel Resources it is not proper to include Rosia Montana in UNESCO heritage, because it would serve the interests of the lawyers of the adverse party,” Cioroianu said back then.