The Rosia Montana file was returned to the Romanian government in July 2018. Bogdan Gheorghiu, culture minister, said that the deadline for resuming the inclusion procedure is 2021.
Minister also announced that a practical action plan to rehabilitate the area would be developed.
The Romanian government decided to resume the procedure for including the Rosia Montana site on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
“We have another year to decide on this. We decided to resume the procedure, so we can enter the meeting this summer,” the minister said.
“The site is protected by the national heritage legislation so the inclusion on the UNESCO list doesn’t change the legal status of protection already established,” he added during the press conference.
About 200 people protested in Bucharest’s Victoriei Square on January 30, demanding the inclusion of Rosia Montana on the UNESCO List. However, minister Gheorghiu said that the government’s decision to resume the procedure had nothing to do with the public protests and pressure on this subject.
Romania sent the file for the inclusion of Rosia Montana on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2017. However, in early June 2018, the local media reported that the Romanian government stopped the procedure for including the Rosia Montana village on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The Government motivated that Rosia Montana’s inclusion on UNESCO’s list would negatively impact Romania’s ongoing lawsuit with Canadian group Gabriel Resources. The Canadian group is asking for USD 4.4 billion damages after the Romanian authorities decided to stop their gold mining project at Rosia Montana.
The inclusion of Rosia Montana on the UNESCO World Heritage List would de facto prohibit any economic activity that would affect the cultural heritage of the locality, including starting any mining operation for the extraction of gold deposits and other precious metals.
The gold mining project at Rosia Montana was stopped in 2013 following massive street protests.