Presidential Committee’s Report: Cultural Heritage’s situation, in crisis

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The Romanian cultural heritage, as a whole, is in crisis, is one of the conclusion the Report by the Presidential Committees on the built patrimony, historical and natural sites, draws. The Report was presented at the Cotroceni Palace (presidential hqs), on Monday.

‘In Romania, the situation of its patrimony, as a whole, is in crisis, its physical state has been gradually worsening and the losses are bigger than in other European countries. All these inconsistent aspects, the report briefly signals out, have to be made leading to a wide consensus on the heritage’s protection and conservation.

The state must commit itself to adopting preventive measures and special sanctions, within the EU principle of sustainable development, in order to ensure the preservation of the built and natural patrimony,’ the Report emphasizes.

According to it, the culture, in the democratic states, is autonomous of the political demarche. ‘For guaranteeing this liberty, the State must put in action a mechanism supporting the culture by legal, financial and administrative means and by the Constitution,’ the Report’s conclusions say.

The report’s authors believe that without a serious and thorough amelioration concentration and harmonization of the legislative provisions on the protection of the cultural and the natural patrimony, any national strategy in the field cannot succeed but to a ‘disappointing and incomplete extent.’

To achieve a Patrimony Code for Romania, to include a rapid sanction enforcement regime in the Penal Code, to draw up a law on expropriation for causes of public utility, aimed at protecting the endangered A-category historical monuments, to identify legal measures to support and boost the patrimony owners, to revise the classification criteria, to set up special courts for patrimony infringements, special taxes for the buildings erected in the protected areas, so far, to draw up a law on Mecenas to boost competition among the developers and enhance Romania’s economic attractiveness, are all but some of the measures proposed.

While steps such as the introduction of the transparency principle in conservation- rehabilitation works, to set up again the sub-commission for archeology within the National Committee on Historical Monuments (CNMI), to set up a National Institute of Cultural Heritage, to develop a real cooperation among the state-run institutions, to reform the county directorates for culture with a view to making them more efficient in monitoring the state of the patrimony’s conservation, to decentralize the competencies and the responsibilities of the authorities for culture and urbanism, the urban restructuring of Bucharest, and to set up a Council of the Heritage of Bucharest City, to urgently conclude the inventory of the monuments and the site eligible to be listed as cultural heritage, to develop a sustainable tourism, to provide trained staff to the patrimony police, are some of the general steps suggested at the institutional level.

Likewise, it is recommended to draw up and implement a landscape policy in order to effectively enact the action principles and methods stipulated by the international documents regarding the cultural landscape. At the same time, the Report proposes the introduction of the legal category of ‘historical monument,’ which will therefore become subject to the laws in force.

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