The Ministry of Culture wishes to amend the Antiquities Law and remove the Regional and National Commission for Historic Antiquities from the approval department for real estate projects in the reserves, if the real estate project was signed by an expert accredited by the Foundation. The decision, then, is up to the culture directorates only. It also introduces the idea of ”partial deconstruction” of historical monuments. Why are these changes harmful and lead to the destruction of urban heritage?
Katyusa IvanovPhoto: personal archive
Certification is not a guarantee of quality
To demolish an old house in protected areas, declassify a historical landmark or construct a new building in protected areas or protected areas of historical monuments, it is usual to obtain an approved and authorized historical study by a specialist/expert certified by the Ministry of Culture. It is paid by the real estate developer. This is how the beautiful buildings of old Bucharest were demolished or blocks of apartments appeared next to or inside the historical monumental buildings, only the facade has been preserved. Here are some recent examples: the new Roman villa on Pache Protopopescu 33-35, another villa over 100 years old in Cotroceni – Joliot Curie 22, a beautiful building on Maria Rosetti Street 4 or the one on the Zambaccian Museum Street 15.
Watch here what the demolished buildings looked like with the approval of the Department of Culture.
Thus, having a project signed by a certified expert is not a guarantee of quality.
There are no specialists / experts in all sections of culture
HotNews.ro asked the Ministry of Culture to specify the number of directors of Romanian cultural directorates with professional training in heritage protection (diploma studies) and the number of accredited specialists in these departments compared to their total number. Staff, but so far no, I got an answer. From the information we get, the situation is tragic. For example, in the Department of Culture in Bucharest, the director Drago Fresino graduated from the Faculty of Geography of the University of Bucharest, and if the data on the site is correct, the institution does not employ any certified specialist/expert to work in archeology.
Under these circumstances, how can the directorate give an opinion without consulting the Regional Authority for Historic Antiquities where there are specialists with decades of experience in the field? Isn’t it logical for the Ministry of Culture to solve this problem first before changing the law?
We don’t have a school like Paris or Rome
No school in Romania trains heritage professionals, like the Chaillot School of Advanced Studies or the International Center for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) in Italy. At Ion Mincu University of Architecture and Urbanism, there is no postgraduate program with this major, only a master’s degree in conservation and restoration at West University of Timișoara and a graduate program at the University of the Arts in Cluj-Napoca.
The fact that projects aimed at demolishing buildings in protected areas / monuments or real estate projects in protected areas or protected areas of monuments were discussed in the national committee / district committees found out more about them. Thus, if the approvals are granted by the culture directorates, citizens, media and specialists learn about them too late, usually when the building has already been licensed or demolished. For example, the website of the Department of Culture in Bucharest does not display the approvals given by the institution and the projects submitted, so no one knows what will approve this institution, although its decisions can irreparably destroy the heritage of the city, as happened in dozens of cases.
Dozens of historic buildings eviscerated
Dozens of historic buildings or structures in protected areas, and homes over 100 years old, have been defaced in recent years and without the possibility of “partial cancellation” required by law. So only a wall or two of beautiful buildings remained, and a block of apartments was built inside them. Rather than tightening requirements and protecting heritage, the ministry legalizes this often abusive practice.
Few of the certified professionals is a monopoly
According to the data on the website of the National Heritage Institute, in Romania there are 709 specialists in the field of historical monument protection and 197 experts. Of the first category, there are only 218 architects and from the second category 60, so who can do a restoration / cementing project. Out of 709 specialists, 26 died, and out of 197 experts, 28 died. Another party no longer confesses. In addition, they have different specialties: architects, installation engineers, paint restorers, structural engineers.
Customized no. 2495 of August 26, 2010 for the approval of the methodological rules regarding the accreditation of specialists, experts and technical auditors in the field of protection of historical monuments, the certification is in the capacity of an expert or technical expert; seniority in the specialty – at least 10 years of active activity in the field of protection of historical monuments; Experience – minimum 7 works for the protection of historical monuments, of special complexity, performed, as the case may be, as author, articulator, team leader or project manager in the area of specialization.
Specialists are required to be university graduates with a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent, in the field of attestation and a master’s degree in the specialization for graduates of specialized colleges for a period of 3 academic years, seniority in the specialization – 5 years in the field of protection of historical monuments and experience – participation as a collector of at least 5 investigation works Or search or inventory of approved, confiscated or approved historical monuments, as appropriate, or 5 projects in the field of historical monuments, approved by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, or participate in the implementation, and direct at least 5 works of maintenance, standardization, restoration, and restoration Qualification of some historical monuments or 3 restoration works, restoration of technical components of historical monuments, concluded with the minutes of completion of works with the qualification “good”, “very good” or “exceptional”.
It is hard to believe that in the absence of a specialized school and harsh certification requirements, a new wave of experts and specialists would appear overnight to develop restoration/conservation projects. Thus, a handful of people would monopolize this field.