MoOC - Sharing Europe through European Heritage

3/ "Triplex Confinium". Heritage and Diversity in Multicultural Transylvania after 1989

The article will focus on the change of policies and on the politics of patrimony taking place in Transylvania both on governmental and private level. Inherited from a multicultural past, material and immaterial patrimony in this ethnically diverse region was the object of various interpretations, mostly tributary to nationalism and therefore with negative consequences, including after the fall of Ceausescu's régime. After the chaotic 1990s, changes occurred in the early 2000s under the influence of three factors: (1) European funding via international NGOs, leading to attractive success stories; (2) interest shown in the area by foreign royalty and business personalities, especially the Prince of Wales ; (3) alternative policies developed by the pro-active civil society, who seized the opportunity to act and save patrimony, redefining heritage along.


Radu Albu-Comanescu
Lecturer at the Faculty of European Studies of the Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca. BA in European Studies at the University of Cluj, followed by a double MA in Comparative European Studies (at the same) and a DEA "Intelligence de l’Europe" at the Paris Est / Marne-la-Vallée University, with a focus on geopolitics, culture and identities. PhD in History, teaching "Theories of European Integration" and "European and International Negotiations", with interests in the history of Europe, the history of political and religious thinking, cultural, economic and public diplomacy, state-building, institutions and networks of power.

A landscape of Transylvania described in Bram Stoker's novel: Dracula (1897). @Robert Belot

1/ Historical Context and Adjustment of Cultural Policies

As Communism was left behind – with the ideological culture it produced in half a century –, producing a new decision-making process that targeted doctrine conformity and radical nationalism was not an easy task, and certainly not something that the Romanian governments after 1989 were ready to do ; and maybe not even eager, except for the Democratic Convention of 1996-2000* Similar in other South-Eastern European countries, cf. Gojko Rikalovi? and Hristina Miki? (editors), Heritage for Development in South-East Europe: New Visions and Perceptions of Heritage through the Ljubljana Process, Council of Europe, 2015; Janez Nared, Nika Razpotnik Viskovi? (editors), Managing Cultural Heritage Sites in Southeastern Europe [Enhancement of Cultural Heritage through Environmental Planning and Management], Založba ZRC, 2014; Sanjin Dragojevi? and Milena Dragi?evi?-Šeši?, Arts management in turbulent times: Adaptable quality management, European Cultural Foundation / Boekmanstudies, Amsterdam 2005 (online at, accessed May 2019). A confused demeanor is characteristic for the cultural policies adopted after 1989, in terms of administration, dedicated legislation and strategies or aims* Corina ?uteu, Overview on Cultural Policy in Central and Eastern Europe 1990/2003, Romanian Academic Society, 2005., as the country inherited oversized, bureaucratic institutions, inefficient, state-administered and depending on State directives* For the structure and cultural directions of the pre-1989 Romania, see Ion Dodu B?lan (Council of Socialist Culture and Education), Cultural policies in Romania, The UNESCO Press, Paris, 1975 (70 p.), online at (accessed March 2019)., next to a legislation whose renewal depended on a political process impaired by constantly changing governments. In terms of strategy, Romania had to options: openness towards European values (which were multilateral, international) and the preservation of national traditions and identity* Also corresponding to the political drive of the parties in power: a traditionalist-nationalist for the Communist heirs (the Social-Democrat Party) and a more international and tolerant for the Liberals or the Christian-Democrats..

The opening of the political and cultural horizon was more than welcome and the internationalization was embraced as a wise direction, illustrated by conventions and partnerships concluded with Western European countries. Yet, "the international cultural cooperation policies (…) did not succeed in creating a necessary framework for administrative and financial inclusion of national institutions in the rich network of European and world cultural and artistic organizations. Initiatives for exchange always came from outside"* C. ?uteu, op. cit.; for more details on cultural policies of the 1990s, see eadem, "Cultural Policies in Transition. The Issue of Participation and the Challenge of Democracy", in: The Arts, Politics and Change- Participative Cultural Policy-Making in South Eastern Europe, European Cultural Foundation / Ecumest Association / Boekmanstudies, Amsterdam, 2005, p. 26. . Time was still needed to generate reflection on the potential of new cultural policies; and not only time, but a new mindset focusing on resourceful, ingenious, innovative cultural policies with impact on life quality and lifestyle, on public/private partnerships triggering the repositioning of the State's role, and the development of democratic institutions ensuring policy-design and cultural sustainability with a constructive approach of culture, heritage, education, media, arts, creative industries.

In terms of values, Romania adopted cultural policies based on four identified reasons* Dan E. Ra?iu, "Cultural Policy and Values: Instrinsic versus Instrumental? The Case of Romania’ in: Journal of Arts Management, Law and Society, vol. 39, nº. 1, 2009, pp. 22-44; eadem,"Cultural Policy in Romania: Justifications, Values and Constraints. A Philosophical Approach", in: Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies, vol. 4, nº 12, 2005, pp. 101-123; eadem, "Politica Cultural? ?i Artele: Local, Na?ional, Global [Cultural Policy and Arts: Local, National, Global], Casa C?r?ii de ?tiin??, Cluj-Napoca, 2012.. The first is the national interest, the self-esteem and the international standing, built on identity, history and patrimony, emphasizing national identity through events destined to celebrate the country image, running the risk of being bureaucratically unproductive and with diplomatic limitations. The second emphasized the economic growth and the social cohesion that culture brought, in an attempt to maximize the European credentials of the country; this approach would have theoretically improved the understanding of culture, but, as a cultural private market did not exist at the time, nor private support for culture, the public intervention in this sphere remained crucial, even if it distorted cultural projects, the art world or creativity itself because of the need to comply with administrative requirements. As for the third reason – culture as factor of quality life –, the expectations were never met: traditional, canonical forms were favored over nontraditional or alternative, with a complete neglect of stakeholders from other social sectors. National-oriented or not, Romania had to diversify the forms of cultural expression, the related activities, the actors involved, and to assimilate the transformations generated by ever-progressing cultural industries.

After 2007, the Romanian government generated cultural strategies destined to bring closer the policies of cultural development (heritage protection included) to those of the European partners* I.e: "The National Development Plan 2007-2013", "Governmental Program 2009-2012", "Governmental Program 2013-2016", "National Sustainable Development Strategy Romania 2013-2020-2030", "Strategic Plan of the Ministry of Culture and National Patrimony 2009-2013", "National Development Plan for the Cultural Sector 2007-2013", and last but not least, "Sectoral Strategy for Culture and National Patrimony 2014-2020". . Despite bureaucratic inflation, attention was however dedicated to a strategic development of culture, defined as "factor of social improvement", "an instrument for the accomplishment of social and economic objectives"* Council of Europe, Compendium Cultural Policies and Trends in Europe (edited by Liviu Chelcea, Anda Becu?, Bianca Balsan), 13th edition, 2012, on (accessed April 2019), country profile: Romania. , and were accompanied by analyses and evaluations, strategic objectives, priorities; they suggested directions of action or intervention, strategy implementation, planning and financing instructions, and brought numerous recommendations.

The situation changed in time, without necessarily evolving. The 2005 National Development Plan for 2007-2013 focused on six development priorities: economic competitiveness through knowledge-based economy; modernization of transport infrastructure; protection and quality improvement of the environment; development of human resources, employment and social inclusion, with strengthening the administrative capacity; developing rural economy and increasing productivity in the farming sector; as well as diminishing development disparities between country regions. The priorities’ list did not include culture, only tangentially named as a "source for tourism development as well as for the growth potential and regeneration of urban centers"* See the official document in Romanian, available at (accessed May 2019). .

Romania additionally subscribed to the European Agenda for Culture in a Globalizing World* Full document: (accessed May 2019). , whose priorities were: the promotion of cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue; of culture as a catalyst for creativity and innovation in the context of the Lisbon Treaty (stimulating cultural industries and economy); and reinforcing the cultural dimension as a vital element of EU external relations. The position papers of the government reflected the new approach of national development planning, where culture was integrated as a component of sustainable development. It was included as such in the Governmental Program of 2009-2012* Official paper in Romanian at (accessed May 2019). , the Governmental Program of 2013-2016* For the official documents, see (accessed May 2019). and in the National Development Strategy for 2013-2020-2030* See the governmental document at (accessed May 2019). . The national objective was to set up and maintain a "coherent legislative, regulatory and institutional framework for the cultural domain", harmonized with existing EU regulations and practices; to implement the first steps of the action plan "for the listing, preservation and promotion of the national cultural heritage and contemporary cultural assets, and for closer links with the European and universal space of cultural values"; to "enhance access of all categories of people from all regions and social environments to information and culture, and to improve the social and economic condition of artists". The institution responsible for the development of the cultural strategies and policies adopted, the Ministry of Culture and National Patrimony, set objectives that follow the national strategy : "safeguarding the national cultural patrimony and the maintenance of the cultural heritage and diversity", "increasing the number of participants to culture and cultural events", "the modernization and internationalization of the cultural infrastructure and the professionalization of the human resources within", "support for contemporary art and creative industries", next to research in cultural policies, promotion of "national values on international level" (via a Romanian Cultural Institute), and promotion of multiculturalism and minorities’ cultures* Items defined in the document cited here above. .

This line of action indicates that the Romanian perspective on the development of culture and of the cultural policies was to be oriented towards (1) national heritage, (2) more public involvement in culture, and (3) development of creative industries. Five State-financed sub-programs were envisaged in a supplementary document of the Ministry of Culture and National Patrimony, dedicated to the public policies, strategy and structural policy coordination for Culture (2009)* Various documents accessible at (accessed March 2019)., aiming at the protection and the safeguarding of the national cultural patrimony (historical and archeological monuments, museums and collections, immaterial patrimony), the promotion of contemporary creation and of cultural diversity, the development of multilateral international relations for the promotion of Romanian culture abroad (and promoting foreign cultures at home), support for the cultural institutions subordinated to the Ministry, rehabilitation of historical monuments, and modernization of public cultural institutions.

This ambitious design was completed by a document with a cultural strategy for 2014-2020, The Sectoral Strategy for Culture and National Patrimony 2014-2020 (produced by the Ministry of Culture in 2013)* Official papers in Romanian at (accessed May 2019). , shadowed by a similar one issued for 2016-2022* At (accessed May 2019). . Both tend to underline a certain transition towards a new understanding of culture. Two types of objectives are settled, with short-, middle- and long-term plans to be carried out by various institutions: the Romanian Government via the Ministry of Culture, the Romanian Parliament, the regional and local administration, and, complementarily, the Ministry for Development, the Ministry of Public Finances, NGOs, etc. Objectives include "the protection of national cultural heritage" (whose definition remains unchanged as "immobile patrimony, mobile cultural patrimony and immaterial cultural patrimony"), next to the support and promotion of contemporary cultural and artistic creation; supplementary purposes concern education, cultural intervention, institutional capacity, the cultural infrastructure, and the four transversal objectives to be implemented "the participation and involvement of young people in cultural activities", the "digitization of the cultural resources", the "enhancement and diversification of cultural offer", and accordingly "cultural consumption", "the exportation of national cultural products" and the "internationalization of culture". This strategy continues the objectives previously settled with regard to national patrimony and cultural heritage; yet it opens up towards new lines of action stressing on the economic advantages of culture, and the economic growth that culture can generate.

By adopting European prototypes of cultural strategy, this interpretation of culture constitutes a new approach for Romania’s governmental policies; it aims trans-sectoral dynamics and values culture as catalyst for local, regional and national economic and social development. In addition, there is a sense of transition towards a more decentralized approach; new angles of cultural policies are now being explored by national institutions and local authorities.

Yet, this bureaucratically manicured practice of culture and heritage has a limited impact because of the number of monuments (designated as such and included on the lists of the Ministry of Culture by the Institute of National Patrimony* Available at (accessed May 2019). Romania has almost 30,000 with protected areas, of which 25% required immediate intervention for preservation by the end of the last decade, cf. Rob Pickard, Florent Çeliku (editors), Analysis and Reform of Cultural Heritage Policies in South-East Europe, Council of Europe, Directorate of Culture and Cultural and Natural Heritage, 2008, p. 265. ) in need for restauration or renovation, putting pressure on the capacity of the State to face demands of financial assistance; and because of the scarcity of qualified personnel capable of implementing specific policies with regard to local or regional patrimony* This must be connected with European projects destined to help institutional capacity building, cf. R. Pickard, F. Çeliku, op. cit., p. 7. .

But still… The word "decentralized" demonstrates a change in mindset, something that modified the government’s logic and technique in managing culture and heritage in a time span of less than 10 years.

The origins of it are to be found outside Romania – and the promoters, inside.

2/ "A Prince on a White Horse"

It was indeed under the impact of annual visits of the Prince of Wales in Transylvania (the cebtral-western, multicultural province of Romania), that local actors such as NGOs and foundations started to play a more visible role in the cultural management of assets considered to be part of a (certain) heritage. Transylvania (Siebenbürgen for the Germans, Erdély for the Hungarians) is a typical case of intertwined, complementary destinies, where ethnicity and politics created separate legitimacies, backing claims fundamentally opposed if taken individually, coherent if treated as a whole. Longtime politically Hungarian, thus Catholic and Protestant, Transylvania was ethnically Romanian (and Orthodox), given the vast majority of the population living in rural areas, with Germans settled as colonists in the 13th century, themselves Catholic and later Protestant. It was this ethnic triptych, next to the geographic location, that defines Transylvania as a triplex confinium, triple neighborhood* "…das Triplex confinium zwiesen Siebenbürgen, Wallachei und Moldau befindet" [Romanian territories today], in: Franz Raffelsperger, Allgemeines geographisch-statistisches Lexikon aller Österreichischen Staaten, vol. 5, Druck und Verlag der k. k. a. p. typo-geographischen Kunstanstalt, 1848, p. 1001. Also used in the past for the Austrian-Venetian-Ottoman, respectively Russian-Austrian-Romanian vicinities.. As Nationalism rose in the 19th century, the political divide between the Hungarian and Romanian communities deepened, with colliding historiographies and opposing arguments, up to the point of military conflict in the two World Wars. Incorporated to Romania in 1918-1920, with 1.2 million Hungarians living today in the area, Transylvania became the focal point of a Romanian-Hungarian antagonism similar to the Irish-English, Serbian-Albanian or French-German discords* The bibliography on the topic is very extensive and shall not be included in this article.. It was in this culturally and politically unsettled climate that the visits of the Prince of Wales – himself of Hungarian and Romanian descent – took place since 1998, as the heir to the British Crown showed interest for the landscape, the local customs, the traditional architecture and the region’s cultural heritage, material and immaterial. These visits were the natural consequence of more than a decade of defending Transylvanian heritage* The Prince of Wales had been the first to oppose Ceau?escu’s systemizing plan endangering historically important Romanian villages; in a speech held at A Better Britain Exhibition in April 1989, he highlighted the importance of maintaining such traditional settlements (Dennis Deletant, Romania under Communism: Paradox and Degeneration, Routledge, 2018, chapter "Dissent")..

What was enlightening, and contributed to a different public perception of heritage in Transylvania, was the equal focus on nature and culture in both cultures, Hungarian and Romanian, contrasting with the divisive nationalism the local identities were accustomed to* While personal friendship with a Transylvanian-Hungarian aristocrat increases the frequency of visits in the Hungarian-dominated areas of the region, the kinship to the Royal Family of Romania acts as a counterweight. :

The great thing, it seems to me, about Transylvania, is the combination of natural ecosystems, the forests and the agricultural areas, together with the human, cultural systems; and it is this extraordinary, unique integrated relationship which is of huge importance. Once you pull it all apart, you are left with something that can just be exploited, without being treated in a sustainable way* Interview with the Prince of Wales, (7'50" to 11'20", transcript of 8'37" to 9'10", accessed June 2019). It was followed by an appraised National Geographic documentary, "Wild Carpathia" (, accessed June 2019)..

The constant support of the Prince of Wales (and the acquisition by him of property in the area* Managed as "The Prince Wales’ Guesthouses in Transylvania". ) not only triggered a more rational approach of non-urban Hungarian and German heritage in Transylvania – neglected sometimes to the point of destruction by the Romanian state* Not exclusively, however. The list is too long to be included in the article. – but it became increasingly attractive in terms of public investment, support and mediatization* By now, the key words "castle in Transylvania" bring out 8 million results on Google.. This coincided with a time when mansions and castles confiscated by the Communists in 1948, were returned to their rightful owners, successors of the ancient Hungarian nobility, the Catholic Church or Protestant institutions. The National Authority for the Restitution of Property, a governmental agency, managed the restitution* The Authority was created based on Governmental Bill nº 361 / April 28, 2005, part of the central public administration included in the Chancellery of the Prime Minister. Official website: (accessed May 2019). By 2008, there were more than 8 000 accepted demands for property restitution registered valued at ca. 900 million lei (ca. €300 million in 2008).. Political scandals, accuses of corruption and biased decision-making were not absent, with nationalist opinions uttered* The unsympathetic atmosphere was similar to the one in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, see Vilém Jarský, Zuzana Dobšinská, Michal Hrib, Ji?í Oliva, Zuzana Sarvasova, Jaroslav Šálka, "Restitution of forest property in the Czech Republic and Slovakia – common beginnings with different outcomes?", in: Central European Forestry Journal nº 64/2018, pp. 195-206.. A total of 57 castles and hundreds of thousands of hectares of forest were claimed, initiating – aside the debate regarding the financial value of the goods and the legality of the process – what seemed to be a new practical comprehension of the economic value of this specific heritage.

This is how the private sector and the civil society, benefiting now from a positive image, started to play a more influential, even decisive role in heritage management in Transylvania.

3/ New Actors: the Private Sector and the Civil Society

The role played by the private sector in the sustainability of the cultural heritage is well established; prestigious NGO federations like Europa Nostra illustrate such a statement. The 2007 international forum on cultural heritage privatization in Catania* The International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) Forum is a biennial initiative aiming to share the most recent contemporary approaches of conservation issues that impact on the management of cultural heritage; the 2007 edition was dedicated to "Privatisation and Cultural Heritage" and took place on September 13-17 under the auspices of the Italian National Commission for the UNESCO. convened that (1) globalization and government resource pressures would continue to intensify the importance of public/private partnerships; (2) that privatization seems to be efficiently operating; and (3) that private sector solutions should be understood as complementary to governmental intervention rather than antagonistic* ICCROM, Privatisation and Cultural Heritage: Proceedings of an International Forum, Urbis, 2007. For the doubts and the benefits of privatization, and on the capacity of the private sector, of the free market and of cultural entrepreneurs positively influence the market changed by technological revolutions: Tyler Cowen, Creative Destruction: How Globalization Is Changing the World's Cultures, Princeton University Press, 2009..

The assumption that only the public sector that can protect and support cultural heritage was (and still is) denied by the realities of heritage properties privately owned now in various counties of Romania. The role of the private sector increased substantially not only in managing all the recovered property – "recovered heritage" – but also in fund-raising, in-kind donations and volunteering to work into heritage preservation or strategy development related to heritage. From this perspective, the situation in Romania is compatible to what Françoise Benhamou* Françoise Benhamou, "Who owns cultural goods? The case of built heritage", in: Victor Alexander Ginsburgh (editor), Economics of Art and Culture, Elsevier, Amsterdam, 2004, pp. 187-202. described using Mossetto’s distinction between the three levels of heritage preservation (re-use, partial restauration and full preservation* Gianfranco Mossetto, "The Economic Dilemma of Heritage Preservation", in: A. Peacock, I. Rizzo (editors) Cultural Economics And Cultural Policies, Springer, Dordrecht, 1994, pp. 81-98 (online at:, accessed May 2019). ): the private market works adequately in the first two cases, while the government regulates the third.

Public sector intervention is of course needed to facilitate private sector production, and it occurs in form of legislation, forms of subsidization or defense of private property rights; this is a specifically governmental attribute via specific legislative and judicial means. Nevertheless, when private for-profit demeanor becomes incompatible with the norms that generate cultural benefits for the society, the government has the right to intervene in a regulatory manner by imposing constraints, but not by replacing the private sector. Thirdly, in some cases, the private non-profit sector can get involved as a corrective mechanism, in an educative way, without requiring governmental action except for the usual, indirect assistance of tax facilitation or supple regulatory standards.

The initial creation of properties valued for their historical and cultural importance was often the product of private sector activity* Cf. Adrian Tinniswood, The Polite Tourist: Four Centuries of Country House Visiting, the National Trust, 1989. ; adding value to heritage or creating new heritage (ranging from investments made by religious groups in building houses of worship revered for their architectural relevance, to corporations whose production facilities became valued as historic industrial sites* Such is the Turda brewery (30 km from Cluj), private property of the historical Ra?iu family of Transylvania, turned into a cultural center. ) is not always emphasized and deserves better consideration* Ilde Rizzo, Anna Mignosa, Handbook on the Economics of Cultural Heritage, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2013, p. 112. .

The backing and support of private finance and in-kind donations from individuals and enterprises (crowdfunding included) became a clear method for preserving cultural heritage in Transylvania, and not only. In more recent years, the new corporate paradigm of partnerships was successfully applied in certain cases* I.e. the restauration of the Tailors’ Tower from the Cluj mediaeval fortress, one of the earliest examples (2009). , but the difference between sponsorship and partnership needs more in order to be better defined.

The motivation for involving the non-profit private sector is to extract fund-raising and volunteer resource potential, and capture at least a part of the contingent valuation that comes with preserving and managing cultural heritage. From this perspective, having in mind the evolution of the heritage management in Transylvania in the last 15 years, the six specific financial and institutional justifications that Davide Ponzini identified in his 2010 study* Davide Ponzini, "The process of privatisation of cultural heritage and the arts in Italy: analysis and perspectives", in: International Journal of Heritage Studies, 6/XVI, Routledge, London, 2010, pp. 508-521 (doi: 10.1080/13527258.2010.505049 and, accessed May 2019). These were detectible in the expansion of the for-profit commercial privatization of cultural heritage in Italy but not exclusive in the field of heritage preservation. are very much applicable to describe local practices, as they:


  • reduce pressure on public budgets ;
  • (b)

  • reduce production costs of services;
  • (c)

  • maximize the efficiency of the privatized establishments;
  • (d)

  • enhance the public delivery of goods and services in culture and tourism;
  • (e)

  • diminish the political influence in resource allocation decisions;
  • (f)

  • enhance the diffusion of property and enterprise rights.

Another outlook derives from Eduardo Rojas’ classification of the four general approaches in heritage preservation: (1) free market; (2) incentives; (3) association, and (4) public intervention* Eduardo Rojas, "El sector privado en la conservación del patrimonio urbano en América Latina y el Caribe: lecciones de tres experiencias", in Fernando Carrión (editor), Centros Históricos de América Latina, UNESCO and the Ministry of Culture of France, Paris, 2001, pp. 15-23. Online at: (accessed May 2019). .

The free market approach is directly relevant as it supports the privatization process of the cultural preservation activities, contrasting with the duties of the governmental attributes in the field. Free market and capital are with regard to functions implicit to heritage preservation, such as building and landscape management, marketing, rehabilitation, financing, consolidation (of buildings and land) and economic development. By contrast, governmental attributes – critical even when reliance is on free markets and private property – include the improvement of public areas, of infrastructure, revitalization plans, preservation norms and the preservation of heritage sites prior to private transfer.

When it comes to incentives, the private sector functions remain the same, but direct subsidies and tax incentives are additional public sector tools. In the case of association, akin to the public-private partnership, the primary challenge is that the public sector adds a supplementary task to his role, along with the private, in building rehabilitation, financing, land consolidation and economic development, with the private sector retaining primary responsibility for building management and marketing.

The ever more important role of the private sector (in contrast to ownership and control) was studied by the Council of Europe and acknowledged as "the most interesting area for involving the private sector in protection of the cultural heritage"* Council of Europe, The Private Management of Cultural Property, Parliamentary Assembly Report of 24 October 2005, doc. 10731, online at (accessed June 2019). . Private management can include the management of State property as well as privately owned heritage* For various examples, see the report mentioned here above. . Yet, short-term or narrow private interests, financially or commercially oriented, even if at certain points compatible with heritage conservation, can pose a threat to the indispensable long-term and non-commercial calculus needed to determine the optimal distribution of benefits. Specialists like Kevin Gibson* Kevin Gibson, "Profit from the priceless: heritage sites, property rights and the duty to preserve" in: Business and Society Review, 114 (3), 2009, pp. 327-348, doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8594.2009.00345.x emphasized the past efforts to limit conflict between private property shareholders and the stakeholders, arguing that such opposition can be diminished by implementing some fundamental concepts related to heritage assets* They are: the duty to not damage, endanger or misuse a current heritage site; the duty of preservation, with the obligation to maintain and protect heritage sites; respect for the stakeholders using such sites, or ensuring their existence; acknowledgment of the cultural and religious identity associated with heritage property; education of the importance and significance of such assets (K. Gibson, op. cit., p. 343)..

In what concerns the volunteer involvement, while economists largely credit the role played by individuals who devote their productive efforts to organizations and activities with no pay, the value of this volunteer labor force is not included in the GDP accounts; it usually impacts positively on the final number of economic calculations by increasing them* For an estimate, the Volunteers for Cultural Heritage (VoCH, a platform funded by the European Commission in the Grundtvig Lifelong Learning Programme, November 2007 / October 2009) made efforts to calculate the value of volunteer work. The endeavor took place more than a decade ago, but the results were eloquent: in Germany, 36% of the country’s population were annual part-time volunteers, generating the equivalent of €65 billion (8% of the 2008 GDP) and of 180,000 jobs; roughly the equivalent of 200,000 jobs in Belgium and of 716,000 in France, while 18.3% of the Polish and 33% of the Irish population volunteered (Cristina Da Milano, Kirsten Gibbs, Margherita Sani, Volunteering in Museums and Cultural Heritage. A European Handbook, online at, accessed June 2019). For the conceptual issues involved, Laura Leete, "The Valuation of Volunteer Labor" in: Handbook of Research on Nonprofit Economics and Management, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2010, chapter 16, doi:, accessed June 2019). .

And to close the analysis framework of the heritage management discernable in Transylvania, we can add the interesting categorization of different standards of volunteerism, identified by Edith Archambault* Édith Archambault, "Le bénévolat en France et en Europe", in: Pensée plurielle, vol. 9, nº 1, 2005, pp. 11-34.: (1) a Rhine model, matching Austria, Belgium, France, Germany and the Netherlands, featuring institutional and professional organizations that operate in various fields, based on particular religions, political affinity or trade union attachments; (2) a Liberal model, specific to the United Kingdom and Ireland, with 19th century Christian socialist roots, generating a sense of social responsibility, but organized locally with little (if any) incentives coming from government, local or regional communities; (3) a Social-Democratic model, typical for the Northern societies, with an associative tradition focusing on individual volunteer interventions, detached from ideological or religious definitions of belongingness; and (4) a Mediterranean model, of Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain, with a rise of the private sector given the financial limitations of the central authorities, stemming from the tradition of community service of the Catholic Church.

Conclusion: a Metamorphosis

The abovementioned outlines help understanding how the Transylvanian heritage evolved in terms of management, public utility and perception under the impact of exterior catalysts that mobilized initiatives and resources locally, and generated a type of management with features stemming from all the four models, with a rather Liberal dominant (consequence of the British involvement).

To this, the European Capital of Culture programme also contributed when, in 2007, the Transylvanian city of Sibiu was selected* Announcement made on the website of the European Parliament at (accessed June 2019). together with Luxembourg. Sibiu’s rise to prominence and revitalization stimulated cities that shared the same multicultural profile; an increasing number of them drew their own development strategies, placing culture as central asset for economic growth and urban regeneration* Cluj-Napoca, Alba-Iulia, later Bra?ov, Timi?oara and Oradea, with EU funding.. While local strategies still depend on governmental directives, these cities turned themselves into a vanguard reshaping planning processes in Romania, changing to the concept of local and regional governance with the substantial inclusion of private organizations, associations, the business milieus and other local communities. Today, the range of instruments visible in the region’s cultural management of heritage cover sponsorships, donations, partnerships, management without ownership, full privatization (combining ownership, development and administration), with actors like individuals, associations, foundations, Churches, national and international cultural property trusts* Among the best non-profit organizations for heritage preservation: ProPatrimonio, Transylvania Trust, the "Mihai Eminescu" Trust, the Ra?iu Family Foundation, the Prince of Wales’s Foundation Romania (subsidiary of The Prince of Wales's Charitable Foundation), the public-private "Samuel von Bruckenthal" Foundation in Sibiu, etc. , representing institutions reflective of the emphasis placed on private sector heritage intervention, with historic homes in particular focus.

As awareness increased, new strategies of rebranding and promotion appeared: Transylvania as a secretive space in Europe, pour les connaisseurs, a place untold* This is the name of a festival of electronic music privately initiated in 2015, now the largest in Europe and benefitting from public funding. A similar one is organized yearly at the Bon?ida Castle near Cluj: the "Electric Castle", criticized for rather damaging the building until it relocated further away. where exceptional experiences can happen, where tourism focuses on quality local lifestyle, ecology and gastronomy; Dracula, longtime undesirable, proved useful in drawing tourist attention by creating the opportunity to educate visitors with regard to the region’s history. Foreign TV shows or magazines granted favorable labels* "The best road in the world" by UK’s Top Gear for Transalpina in southern Transylvania; the "eastern Loire Valley" for the Mure? county (with 27 castles located on the Mure? river), by the National Geographic. that continued to be used, indicating the desire to improve the condition of the area by maximizing the aspects that would eventually substantiate such comparisons, even if the challenges in terms of infrastructure resources are significant.

Economic rationale and a genuine concern for the international standing of the region whose fame improved, produced a participation society who plays on heritage (para-diplomacy* Heritage diplomacy explores themes such as cooperation, cultural aid and hard power, and the ascendency of intergovernmental and non-governmental actors as mediators between nationalism and internationalism, cf. Tim Winter, "Heritage diplomacy", in: International Journal of Heritage Studies, 21, issue 10, 2015, pp. 997-1015.), tends to neglect national divisions and turns opposing identities into collaborative identities based on integrative projects that use heritage to transform "overlooked alterity" into organized diversity. It shifted from shaping identities against the Other to building identities with the Other. The Transylvanian trends thus join the cultural rights policy promoted by the Council of Europe, designed to contribute to the European identity and protect the distinctive features that build Europe’s rich personality, as cultural identities and their common foundations have to be defended by fostering a deeper comprehension of the cultural qualities of other nations* This generates a closer connection between cultural heritage and human rights, as the Council of Europe focuses on the protection of both individual and collective cultural rights of ethnic minorities, in the attempt to avoid conflict between majority cultures and minority cultures (Rob Pickard, European Cultural Heritage: A review of policies and practice, Council of Europe, 2002, p. 11). .

This might be the wisest path to reconcile two national narratives, the Romanian and the Hungarian, in what is, after all, a shared homeland.