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International council on monuments and sites asks Romanian authorities to stop patrimony demolition

UNESCO’s council for historic monuments and sites has asked Romanian authorities to stop demolishing historic buildings and buildings with an architectural value. Romania has also been asked to draft a strategy to protect its patrimony.

In response, Romanian Culture Minister Gigel Stirbu said he would take all needed measures to protect the cultural patrimony.

The UNESCO council, called ICOMOS, received reports about the recent demolitions in Bucharest, which mainly made room for new roads, from the NGO Pro.Do.Mo. Members of this council met in September 2013 and drafted the paper work asking the Romanian authorities to stop.

“This time last year we were launching the report ‘Bucharest patrimony – under demolition threat’. We did not get any answers from Romanian authorities. The City Hall ignored us, the Culture Ministry tried to shut down the zonal culture commissions, and the Development Ministry change the urbanism law so as to cancel the protected areas and B category monuments end up with local moguls,” said Roxana Wring, president of ProDoMo.

Another NGO says Romania has to seek support from the European institutions, as they stand no change at home. “The European Commission issued the CVM report two weeks ago. There are a couple of things we’re talking about now in that report. I am referring to the fact that authorities do not apply court decisions,” said Nicusor Dan, president of the Salvati Bucurestiul association. He added that in a civilized country, the city’s chief architect would have resigned following this report.

“It’s unacceptable that the council which speaks about patrimony around the world says Bucharest demolishes its patrimony. All the destruction we talk about was green lighted by clerks which still have their jobs, even if courts canceled the documents they signed. And they continue to issue documents which are as illegal,” Dan added.

Even if Romania will not be fined following this report from ICOMOS, the country is on the black list for patrimony, according to the two NGO representatives.

The Culture Minister said in a statement he will meet the Bucharest mayor Sorin Oprescu in the following period, to talk about the patrimony, among others.

More about patrimony demolitions in Bucharest, here