The Greater Region sites on the official list of UNESCO World Heritage could soon be more numerous.
France and Belgium join forces for WWI
This year, neither France nor Belgium has candidacies pending for their “exceptional universal values.” However a strong and symbolic candidacy case for UNESCO World Heritage is being build on both sides of the French-Belgium border, the case concerns “the Landscape and Sites of memory of WWI". The case files more than fifty sites and landscapes which goes from the North Sea to the Vosges, an area long of 700km, which has been scared by the battlefields a century ago.
This project is carried by Belgium as well as French Departments, which were situated on the front outline. Since 2002, the “Sites of Memory and Monuments of WWI: The Westhoek and the Neighbouring Regions” have been put on the tentative list of the UNESCO by Belgium. The French Departments have organized themselves together as an association named “Landscapes and Sites of Memory of WWI” [www.heritage-grandeguerre.fr
]. All the Departments of Lorraine are represented, and the President of the association is none other than the President of the Meuse General Council.
Since June 2013, both organizations have decided on a cooperation convention and work together for the nomination of the Landscapes and Sites as World Heritage, an inclusion on the World Heritage list for 2016 or 2018 is sought. It would be highly symbolic, as it would come for the celebration of the century of the Great War.
The Greater Region on the UNESCO Indicative list
Several Greater Regions sites can be found on the indicative list, such as:
- The Architectural and Urban work of Le Corbusier (French side of a transnational project) with in Greater Region the factory Claude & Duval (1946) in Saint-Dié en Lorraine
- In Belgium, to name just a few: the Thermal-Ensemble of Spa: High-society thermal therapy to prestigious holiday resort, Prince Bishop’s Palace of Liège, and the citadelles mosanes.
One more sign that the Greater Region truly bears its name, and a proof of the cultural diversity and wealth that lies on this geographic area.