WHERE & WHAT?
In the Southern part of Transylvania 18 socalled “Fortified churches” (out of 200) of the Transylvanian-Saxon community are being renovated between summer 2011 and winter 2012 in order to protect them from decay as well as to make them more attractive to cultural tourists.
OFFICIAL NAME OF THE PROJECT / PROJECT CODE
„Tezaure fortificate redescoperite – Dezvoltarea durabila a regiunii Centru prin punerea in valoare a potentialului al retelei de biserici fortificate sasesti din Transilvania“
Code: SMIS 4372
is the Lutheran church in Sibiu/Hermannstadt (Landeskonsistorium der Evangelischen Kirche A.B. in Rumaenien / Consistoriul superior al bisericii evanghelice C.A. din Romania)
through the Regional Operational Programme, Priority Axis 5, DMI 5.1, Project No. 5 under the supervision of ADR Centru (Regional Development Agency of the Central Region)
Total ammount: 22 Million RON, out of which 14 Million by the EU (1 Euro = 4,3 RON => 3,25 Million Euro)
WHAT WE CONSIDER TO GO WRONG
At least on 2-3 construction sites (i.e. in the villages of Mesendorf/Meschendorf (220.000 Euro contract) and Crit/Deutschkreuz, (270.000 Euro contract) in Brasov county), the renovation works have been carried out in less than substandard quality by personell that is apparently lacking basic restauration skills and work ethics. As a result, parts of the fortified churches in this two villages have been visibly dammaged and its medieval character severely altered. Therefore, we consider that EU-funds have been spent abusively and illegally.
-Massive material dammage occured on walls, wooden roof structure, traditional tiles (strong signes of intentional destruction in order to justify replacement by new industrial tiles), plaster, church furniture mainly
-The project manager is not really involved in the management of the project but spends many time abroad
–Near-to-zero public communication of project details, although contracts signed for this purpuse
WHAT HAS BEEN DONE AGAINST IT
1. Articles appeared in newspapers in Romania (July 2011)
2. Well known restaurators from Great Britain confirmed substandard quality of work in a report (english version in lower part of document) and gave practical advice and short trainings to workers on construction site (July/August 2011).
3. Official commission by the beneficiary, including project arquitect Letitia Cosnean visits construction sites, gives binding written advice how to proceed with the work in order to avoid further damage (July 26 2011).
3. Results of more substandard work documented on photo and video in the two villages, in September and October 2011, carried out in moslty after the visit of the official commission and issuance of written (binding) advice in July.
4. Complaints filed with ADR Centru, the beneficiary, the Heritage Protection Authority (DJCPCN) of Brasov county.
5. Request send to the beneficiary and ADR Centru for access to official documents of the project.
6. Public debate about the problems in the two villages organised in November 2011 in Sibiu.
7. Recorded on video and published examples of good practice from the construction site in the village of Apold/Trappold, which part of the same renovation project
8. Suggested competent supervisory personell for the construction sites to the beneficiary who posted requests for this porpose
RESULTS / FAILURES
1. NO substantial improvements seen on te construction site after filing of complaints, articles in newspapers, advice of official commission. Instead, the beneficiary complains about the public criticism of it’s project management.
2. NO official reply by beneficiary to complaint, neither to request for access to official documents
3. NO confirmation of ANY substandard work in the reply by ADR Centru and the Ministry of Regional Development, No. 3928/27. 02. 2012
4. NO access provided to documents concerning the project by ADR Centru
5. NO answer by Heritage preservation authority in Brasov (DJCPCN Brasov)
6. NO reply to suggestions concerning competent supervisory personell on the construction sites by th ebeneficiary
NEXT STEPS AHEAD
-Filing anti fraud complaints with the EU-Commission
-Filing complaints with the Ministry of Culture
-Filing law suit against ADR Centru for access to project information
-Filing criminal complaint against representatives of the beneficiary as well as ADR and Ministries