Rosia Montana opens a gold museum in the National Museum Complex ASTRA Sibiu

Newsroom 17/07/2012 | 12:29

“Golden House” from Dumbrava Sibiului, a representation of  the 2,000-year tradition of gold mining the is now opened for visitors of the National Museum Complex ASTRA Sibiu, who can find out more about the history, traditions and cultural heritage of Rosia Montana (Alba County), in the building donated to the museum by Rosia Montana Gold Corporation (RMGC).

Situated in the natural reserve Dumbrava Sibiului, in the Museum of Traditional Popular Civilization ASTRA, the “Gold House” tells the story of the two-thousand-year tradition of gold mining at Rosia Montana, in the heart of Apuseni Mountains. The building dates back to 1830 and represents a typical household for vernacular architecture in the area of Rosia Montana, being made of sawed fir wood beams, with swallow tail joints. On two of the ceiling beams in the living chamber, a Cyrillic inscription was identified, bearing the name of the owner, craftsman and year of construction. The basement has a functional character, tightly related to gold ore processing.

The construction, which was in a poor degree of conservation, was bought by Rosia Montana Gold Corporation in 2006 and was then donated to ASTRA Sibiu Museum.

The house was restored as part of a project carried out by the Cultural Restoration-Conservation Center of ASTRA Sibiu Museum, implemented with the help of a grant fund from the SEE Financial Mechanism financed by Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. The dismantlement and relocation works were conducted by specialists of the museum in 2009. The wood was then restored and the building was reconstructed within the museum premises, in the thematic area of traditional mining.

“As the owner of the largest ethnic museum structure in Romania, ASTRA carried out a research program in order to identify a gold mining household and thus complete the range of traditional Romanian occupations illustrated in the open-air museum. Within this program, we identified the house from Rosia Montana and were glad that the owner, Rosia Montana Gold Corporation, responded to our proposal of cooperation. By adding the house of the gold miner to our complex, we are offering our visitors the opportunity to find out more about this two-thousand-year tradition of the Apuseni Mountains”, declared Stefan Ciprian Anghel, director of the museum and responsible for the project, on the inauguration of the house.

The entire historical center of the commune is included in a vast rehabilitation and restoration program, maintenance works being currently implemented in the center. Works have been ongoing since 2011 for the restoration of two emblematic buildings from Rosia Montana: the old school and the old town hall. Another one hundred buildings have their restoration projects approved, and the works will start as soon as the mining project begins.

The restoration projects also include the Roman gallery Catalina-Monulesti from Rosia Montana, certifying Roman mining activities in the 2nd century, the funerary monument from Tau Gauri, dating back to the 2nd century, which will be preserved in situ,and Carpeni area, which is a protected archeological site.

The start of the mining project will foster tourism development in Rosia Montana on the long term, so that the visitors can find out the entire story of the two-millennium tradition of gold mining.

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