The cultural heritage, in its position of preservation, restoration and restoration of the district circle in its vicinity, has always caused headaches for officials of the provincial directorate of culture and not only. Over time, there have been all kinds of attempts, in one form or another, to hold public opinion accountable and to find solutions to connect the past with the legacy that we can leave to future generations.
About all this and about how Sibiu is now in terms of heritage, we asked him to explain to us Dr. Dan Nano, Director of the Sibiu Provincial Directorate of Culture.
A very large and rich heritage
With a generous historical heritage in terms of historical and architectural heritage, Sibiu Province is one of the most attractive regions in terms of dynamic component, which can bring back the futuristic part of the past. Why is cultural heritage important in the most pragmatic way?
First of all, the County Directorate of Culture is the decentralized service of the Ministry of Culture of the Territory and its main objective is the preservation, restoration and promotion of cultural heritage in that province and in the geographical area in which it is located. The province of Sibiu has an extraordinarily rich heritage, ranging from the Saxon fortified churches to the wooden houses of Mărginimea Sibiului. Or by passing through two UNESCO sites, from Birtan and Valia Filor, from archaeological sites of national and public European importance, to the Estates and Moving Heritage located in the complex of the Astra National Museum in Dumbrava Sibule.
What determines the belonging of a thing to cultural heritage?
If we refer to real estate, it is real estate located above ground or underground, which has the status of impact, depending on the classification, after a complex appraisal process. These buildings are on the Historic Monuments List, which is updated every five years, and Sibiu Province currently has more than 1,050 historical monuments, collections, archaeological sites, memorial homes and public monuments.
The last update was made in 2015…
At the end of 2015, it will be published in January 2016, so this year the list should be updated at the national level. But this is a very stressful phenomenon, because many monuments are no longer physically present today to be reduced; The entire procedure must be followed, as in the case of filing. Especially considering the fact that until 2000 they were classified only by registration in a list, and classified as antiquities by their publication in the official GAZETTE, a situation that makes this procedure almost impossible.
The province of Sibiu has an extraordinarily large and rich heritage, which has been preserved largely because of the Saxons who were present in these lands until 1989 and even just after 1990. It was occupied, after the departure of the Saxons, by foreigners from different parts of the country, who were unaware of the preservation of this heritage. Therefore, the role of the County Directorate of Culture is greater, through the controls that we are doing, in order to preserve this heritage. Especially because no censorship has been done in the last three years, especially in rural areas. The controls that we are doing this year show that there is a brutal and widespread interference with the heritage, by invading elements that are not specific to the areas in which it is located. For example, the so-called concrete tile roof or worse, sheet metal, polystyrene cladding in buildings, plastic-framed, washable double-glazed windows that do not rely on lime. This makes the effects deteriorate faster.
The public authorities are neglected
How do you work institutionally with local authorities? I don’t know why I feel that the Cinderella stature of culture in general is more common here…
Although in the regulation and work of the Ministry of Culture, respectively for the provincial directorates of culture, one of the main objectives is to cooperate with local public authorities and other institutions with heritage protection roles, such as the local police or the police district, the district inspectorate for construction ˗, I can say that In addition to the county police, which has a department called the Criminal Investigative Service, with several officers who specialize in heritage, in terms of town halls, we also have a deed business. Meaning that our repeated requests were not answered by more than 20-25% of them. This makes our work challenging in terms of preserving and preserving this heritage, especially in terms of architecture or architectural modification. With regard to the mobile heritage, during this period we are in a whole process of identifying the so-called village museums, which have a rather valuable heritage, but are endangered, because they are not preserved and preserved according to the rules of operation. A museum, in accordance with the provisions of the Museums Act, of 2003. In this regard, we sent to city halls, last week, an address asking us if they have in their area village museums, school museums, denominational museums or private collections of individuals, in order to be able to Identify and direct the owners, whether they are natural or legal persons, in registration in accordance with the rules of the Museums Act.
The built heritage, in its permanent and permanent interaction with the natural environment, has often led to deterioration, due to lack of maintenance resources… What concrete solutions do we have to take advantage of these monuments?
First of all, the greatest enemy of these monuments is not the passage of time, but human indifference or bad faith, because there are many monuments left in ruins, intentionally or due to lack of funds. That’s why we direct homeowners to programs that provide funding for their restoration. And here, first of all, we are talking about the National Heritage Institute, which this year also provided funds of up to 200,000 lei for such projects. The amount is not large, but it is a great start and help for traces that are already crumbling or already crumbling. And from the province of Sibiu, the Evangelical Church of Dobarca was included in this program, which, through the Evangelical Union and the Foundation of Fortified Churches, obtained funds for the safety of this church.
A call for accountability
This concept of accountability is very complex and very ambiguous! Yes, we can decide whether to preserve the heritage for future generations or choose to watch it disappear. What makes the difference or how do we make this responsibility tangible and effective?
The Sibiu Department of Culture wants to launch a programme, a project to raise awareness among the residents about the importance of preserving heritage or what remains of the heritage left by previous generations, regardless of whether they are Romanians, Saxons or other nationalities. In this sense, we want to move to three levels:
– one is to raise awareness, through leaflets (brochures), to be presented in every mailbox and thus reach every citizen of the county;
– the second approach refers to the so-called competition between citizens, through a partner publication, containing a voucher to indicate the most degraded monuments in the province of Sibiu, after referring to the list of historical monuments;
The third level refers specifically to improving the relationship with local public administrations in order to protect movable and immovable cultural heritage. In this regard, we will make a good practice guide on the conservation and restoration of certain buildings, whether they are historical monuments or buildings of historical value in a protected area of monuments or protected built-up areas, which are usually located in the center of the assemblies, the areas defined by the general urban plans of the assemblies. Because these general urban plans represent the constitution of the respective regional administrative units from an architectural, architectural and construction point of view. I would even suggest that citizens or some businesses or NGOs adopt a monument and, by restoring it, be exempt from taxes. But about these matters, we will come up with the relevant details at that time.
But if responsibility is understood, I think we will not soon see in the villages and towns of the county houses painted in all sorts of bright colors, hopefully the corrugated iron on the roofs and polystyrene, as well as double-glazed windows, elements that cause the penetration of moisture and mold, and their continuation and development in such Buildings, because these linings increase the damage of damaging factors to these monuments or buildings of historical value.
Are you ready to make friends, through these actions that will upset people and institutions…?
There are cases that even state institutions or companies separate from them violate Law 422/2001 on Historic Antiquities. Here I give the case of the narrow-gauge railway, called Mocăniță, a historical monument, along with everything on its path. I mean bridges, corners, rolling stock, and so on. It is a historical monument from 2012, Class B. I discovered one day with astonishment that almost all of the cantons on the Sibiu-Agnetta Road were sold to individuals, without the Ministry of Culture, through the Provincial Directorate of Culture, which exercises the right of pre-emption granted by Law 422 of 2001 to Historic Monuments. We have addressed a letter to the company of railway assets, which owns these cantons, to inform them that these sales are null and void, because they have not notified us, the Municipalities of the Road and the Provincial Council, to exercise this prior right. – Redemption.
As for the “friends” you are talking about, yes, recently, as I said, after three years without verification, when such steps, of course, began to ring, the phones began to ring. The more precise the control, the more the phone will ring. But as long as we respect the law, there is no need to be afraid, because I do not think that anyone from this country and this country wants to interfere with those who despise or brutally interfere with the national cultural heritage.