Sarmizegetusa Regia, robbed in accounting terms

by Cristina Pastia Monday, 29 June 2020
137,25 billion RON. Or 28,3 billion Euro. What do you think this sum represents? A stadium? A new investment in the Romanian textile industry? A hotel? The making of a site for the Government? Not even close. It represents the “worth” of Sarmizegetusa Regia, the capital of Dacia. The “achievement” belongs to the Hunedoara County Council, encouraged by “experts” of the Romanian state. Of course it's useless, unless you sell it to some entrepreneur so he can peacefully search for Dacian bracelets.
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<p>More than 8 years ago, the Hunedoara County Council added Sarmizegetusa to their inventory. It also took the bunch of fortresses around it: Costeşti, Blidaru, Hulpe’s Peak, The Red Stone, Băniţa.</p><p>Everything great until en enlightened mind made its appearance at the Hunedoara Court of Auditors. He asked to see the accounting value of the ruins of the former Dacian capital. Obviously, everybody shrugged their shoulders. It’s this, it’s that… Nothing. The enlightened mind gave a clear task- “Find the accounting value of Sarmizegetusa!!”</p><p>And they got to work. The council hired an assessment company which, now, gave the verdict: it is worth 137,25 billion RON (28,3 billion Euro). Let’s recap: we are talking about Sarmizegetusa, which after its conquest the Romans called Regia, to distinguish it from the new Sarmizegetusa Ulpia Traiana. It was the capital and the most important military, religious and political hub of the Dacian State. The fortress was the centre of a defence system formed of six Dacian fortresses in the Orăștiei Mountains.</p><p><strong>What do we have in the inventory?</strong></p><p>Like everyone, we wonder how such and assessment could have been made. Did someone go there and counted the ruins, the rocks on the site?</p><ul><li>“One piece rock on which Decebal ruminated before the fight”. Worth: 500 Euro.</li><li>“Ancient sundial, broken”. Worth: 100 Euro.</li><li>“Wall against which Traian leaned after the fight”. Worth: 50 euro (there was no trace left by the elbow).</li><li>“The Spirituality of Zamolxis, on site”. Worth: 5.000 Euro.</li></ul><p>And so on. They headed to the bunch of fortresses. Obviously, they hardly got there, because there is no access road in the touristic sense of the word.</p><ul><li>“Hole in the wall made by Roman catapult”. Worth: 1.000 Euro.</li><li>“Dacian defence wall”. Worth: 250 Euro. (It doesn’t have plaster anymore)</li><li>“Interior terrain, 2 acres”. Worth: 10.000 Euro. (It is within the built-up area)</li><li>“Peasant house made with stones from the Dacian wall”. Worth: 15.000 Euro.</li><li>“Treasure ground, 15 acres”. Worth: 50.000 Euro (look out for the bracelets!)</li></ul><p><strong>The accounting heritage</strong></p><p>Attention though, things don’t get easier from now on. On the contrary. The worth of an asset must be depreciated, so to speak. The ones at the Hunedoara County Council should make this operation monthly. Ok, let’s say the complex “is worth” 28,3 billion Euro in June. In July? But in August? Did the value of the asset increase or decrease? In accountancy, as far as I know, with time the value of an asset decreases, it does not increase. So, the “sundial” should at least be fixed so you can “increase” the price. Or maybe in the autumn you can’t feel the spirit of Zamolxe in the air so everything drops by 5.000 Euro. Big issue.</p><p><strong>Mockery and that’s all</strong></p><p>There are over 27.000 historical monuments in our country. Inventoried. In the custody of the state. ONE is barely restored annually. This is the strategy of the Romanian Governments when it comes to the past, traditions, cultural heritages. They don’t care about anything. History should not be treated from an accounting point of view. Sarmizegetusa Regia doesn’t “cost” 28 million Euro. The new Ghencea Stadium costs 200 million Euro. In 2.000 years maybe, the ruins of the stadium will have another type of value.</p><p>All in all, Sarmizegetusa is in the UNESCO Patrimony. A historical site to which you have a lousy access road and the areas around it are ransacked by treasure hunters even today. And about the bunch of fortresses about which I was writing above we can say that they are being stolen by the locals, piece by piece. They have stone for the house walls, for the fences.</p><p>These are the real problems. Problems that should preoccupy the local and central authorities. Otherwise, we will get to laugh about our own history. A, sorry, we have already begun.</p><p><br><strong>What else costs 28 bil. Euro?</strong></p><ul><li>The third section of the Brașov belt road</li><li>The Mrs. Ghica Passage</li><li>1 km of the Comarnic-Brașov highway</li><li>The Municipal Stadium in Sibiu</li></ul><p>So you can get an idea about the absurdity of the accounting transformation of Sarmizegetusa, of history in general, you must know that an armchair (year of fabrication 1919) which belonged to Yves Saint Laurent was sold, at an international auction, with 22 billion Euro.</p><p>The only “good news” for us, Romanians, is that not only our Governments have, put together, an IQ under 40. The British also evaluated Stonehenge. The details were not communicated to the public, just the final sum: 51 billion pounds sterling. Fact that caused a huge scandal in the UK especially given that tourists bring, annually, incomes of over 112 pound sterling.</p><p><br><br>(an article by Edward Pastia)</p>