During the last session of the United Nations World Heritage Committee, the Rosia Montana mine was granted special UNESCO status due to its historical significance dating back to the second century.
According to the International Council on Monuments and Sites, the historical mine “It contains the largest, most technically diverse Roman underground gold-mining complex currently known in the world.”
Romanian President Klaus Iohannis on Tuesday welcomed UNESCO’s inclusion of the site in a Facebook post, suggesting that Rosia Montana “It should become a model for the promotion of heritage through the sustainable development of the territory.”
However, not everyone’s decision was warmly welcomed by UNESCO. Eugene Fordy, Mayor of Rosia Montana, has argued that the new law “It does not benefit society or the country”, Citing additional spending to renovate or modernize buildings in the area and bureaucracy requiring UNESCO approval.
The UN decision also added additional complications to the ongoing legal dispute between Romania and Canada’s Gabriel Resources. The company issued a statement claiming that the UNESCO decision is being implemented “Contradiction with Romania’s obligations under its own investment treaties regarding Gabriel’s investments”.
The company sued for $4.4 billion in damages in 2017 after the Romanian government blocked Gabriel Resources’ plan to build its own large mine in the area after nationwide protests erupted in 2013. The Canadian company’s plan reportedly destroyed four mountain peaks and three villages . in the city.
The Rosia Montana mine was declared a site of historical significance by the Romanian government in 2016.
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