Reconstruction (in fact “rebuilding” would be the appropriate term for built heritage) is implicitly provided in Romanian legislation as “restoration to the initial condition” to which the perpetrator of the destruction or degradation of a historical building is bound. In the – until now hypothetical – situation in which this legal provision would apply, the status of the resulted building becomes uncertain, and its place on the Historic Buildings List is no longer supported by its fulfilment of the classification criteria.
Reconstruction is even more problematic in the case of buildings (numbering in the hundreds) that are part of a historical rural site, concerting to support the coherence and authenticity attributes based on which, for example, the ones grouped in the UNESCO site “Villages with Fortified Churches in Transylvania” were included on the World Heritage List.
This article presents situations, cases, and debates triggered by appeals to reconstruction as a legitimate measure for the protection of a UNESCO site.
Keywords: reconstruction, world heritage, rural site, vernacular, monitoring, legislation