The Petrila Coal Mine closed on October 30, 2015, and was slated to be demolished by January 2016 after more than 150 years of mining history. The company proposed no alternatives and made the decision to close the mine without any consultation with the local community. In 2011, however, after learning about the fate of the mine, a local artist and a team of architects initiated a series of projects offering alternatives to demolition. This article shows the complicated emotional relationship between the local inhabitants and the mine, as well as the dysfunctional communication between community, NGOs, and the local and central authorities. In a broader discussion of the neglected Romanian industrial legacy, it depicts how industrial heritage has made alternative scenarios an unavoidable topic of debate.

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