The Parliament draws up state policy on the protection of monuments, creates the legal framework to ensure efficient protection of cultural heritage, approves the register of state-protected monuments and state cultural programmes and funds such programmes.
The government compiles the register of state-protected monuments, implements the conservation, restoration and enhancement of such monuments and funds such programmes out of the state budget and with outside sources of funding.
Local authorities are responsible for maintaining the inventory of monuments of county and local significance and for funding activities relating to the protection of such monuments.
To prevent the deterioration of monuments, the state bodies responsible for their protection are required to designate protection zones to be included in the register, and any work carried out in such protected zones must comply with the regulations governing those zones.
The Directorate of Cultural Heritage and Visual Art is a structure that ensures and promotes strategies and policies, draft laws, regulations and public policies in the field of cultural heritage and visual arts of the Republic of Moldova. They are also responsible for historical remains, architectural heritage, the protection of national movable and immovable cultural heritage, compliance with relevant legislation, and the maintenance of archives and registers relating to the protection of monuments. In addition, these Directorates put the finishing touches to state programmes on monument protection, co-ordinate studies on the impact of urban and regional development upon archaeological monuments,and supervise archaeological excavations. Specialists working in the Directorates provide advice and guidance on cultural heritage issues to officials of central and local governments, professionals, researchers, students, etc.
The Ministry of Culture, through inter-ministerial committees, collaborates with the following Ministries: Construction and Regional Development, The Environment, The Economy, Finance, Foreign Affairs and European Integration, Education, Labour, Social Protection and Families, and Justice. The Ministry of Culture has the following committees and councils with advisory functions:
- National Archaeological Commission;
- National Commission for Preserving Intangible Cultural Heritage;
- National Commission for Museums and Collections;
- Art Acquisition Committee for the National collections;
- National Commission of the Republic of Moldova for UNESCO;
- National Council of Historical Monuments;
- National Council of Public Forum Monuments;
- National Council for Monumental and Decorative Art; and
- Council of Experts for estimating and purchase of art works.
The Agency of Inspection and Restoration of Monuments (AIRM) is an executive body subordinated to the Ministry of Culture which has the function of control regarding law observance in the field of protection, preservation and restoration of monuments, historical ensembles and sites and their protection areas. The function of AIRM is to coordinate and enforce the laws of the Republic of Moldova, documents of UNESCO and the Council of Europe on protection, preserving and promoting historical monuments.
The National Archaeological Agency is a specialised public institution subordinated to the Ministry of Culture, with the mission to implement state policy in the field of the protection and promoting archaeological heritage, to organise and exercise control and supervision on behalf of the state of compliance with the legislation, to enforce law in the field of protection of archaeological heritage.
The National Centre for Preserving and Promotion of Intangible Cultural Heritage is the institution that ensures enforcement of protection policies in the regions, especially in the communities possessing heritage, sustains the viability of the intangible cultural heritage especially to the younger generation, and makes inventory elements of intangible cultural heritage, preserving information on various modern media.
Although there is an exaggerated number of institutions responsible and involved in management of cultural heritage, there is still a lack of effective management and low capacity to exploit the cultural heritage. Ineffective management of public heritage is caused by poor management both at the central and local level, and also because of the lack of collaboration among the ministries, local public authorities, cadastral bodies and civil society. In the near future, the Ministry of Culture intends to transform the Agency of Inspection and Restoration of Monuments into the State Inspectorate of Monuments and to create the National Institute of Historical Monuments to cover the gap in institutional capacities of the state and will strengthen institutional capacities in the field of cultural heritage protection.
Cultural policies in the field of cultural heritage were promoted by the state through various programmes: State Programme “Development and protection of culture and art in the Republic of Moldova for 1997-1998”, Strategy for Sustainable Tourism Development in the Republic of Moldova (2003-2015) and indirectly promoted by the National Programme “Moldovan Village” (2005-2015); National Strategy for Information Society “E-Moldova”; Government Activity Programme “European Integration: Freedom, Democracy, Welfare” which provided the government policy framework of the Republic of Moldova for 2011-2014; Strategic Development Plan of the Ministry of Culture for 2012-2014, and the Medium Term Budgetary Framework for 2013-2015.
As for the legal framework in the field of cultural heritage protection, it has been significantly improved in recent years, by adoption of the Law on protection of archaeological heritage, the Law on Public Forum Monuments, the Law on the protection of movable national cultural heritage and the Law on the protection of intangible cultural heritage. In the process of major changes is the Law on protection of historical monuments, which will replace the existing law, in existence since 1993. In the same context, the Republic of Moldova has signed and ratified ten international conventions on cultural heritage.
An exceptional achievement in 2013 is the enrolment into the Representative List of the Humanity Intangible Cultural Heritage of the traditional winter practice “Male group singing carols”, this being the first element of the cultural heritage of the Republic of Moldova accepted into UNESCO World Heritage List. In 2013, in cooperation with other countries from the Southeast Europe, the feast of “Saint Gheorghe-Hiderliz” was proposed for inclusion on the UNESCO list. Another element of the national cultural heritage – “Martisor” is in the final stage of nomination, in the frames of a transnational project, for the Representative List of the UNESCO Humanity Intangible Cultural Heritage. A candidate file on the list of UNESCO protected areas is the Old Orhei reservation, which was submitted in 2005, but which was since withdrawn since the objective did not meet the requirements.
Among the projects that deserve special attention is restoration of the historical and architectural complex “Manuc Bey mansion – park” in Hânceşti, which is being developed with national and European funding and reaches a budget of about EUR 2 million. Most of the finance, EUR 1.82 million, is granted by the European Union in the frames of the project “Development of cross-border tourism by promoting Manuc Bey Mansion, mortuary complex Elena Ioan Cuza and Blesciunov Mansion” by the Joint Operational Programme Romania-Ukraine-Moldova. Another 23 million MDL will be allocated by the Agency for Regional Development. The work envisages restoration and reconstruction of the Mansion, a watchtower, a hunter’s Castle, Manuc Bey House, bailiff house and barn. The project initiators aim to furnish the mansion interior with furniture corresponding to the mansion’s epoch and to restore its former splendour. According to the technical specifications, rehabilitation of the mansion is planned to be completed by 31 August 2015.
Success stories in the field of cultural heritage rehabilitation include the reconstruction project of Soroca Fortress, which is carried out within the European Programme “Medieval Jewellery”, which also includes Hotin and Suceava fortresses in Romania. The first phase of the project amounted to EUR 2 million and was financed from the European financial resources, with the project expected to be completed in May 2015.
Another architectural jewel to be renovated in the near future is the church Assumption of the Virgin Mary in Causeni. The Ministry of Culture has developed a renovation project for the monument, and is now looking for 20 million MDL needed for the project works.
For more information, see
European Heritage Network: Country profile of Moldova