Holidaymakers basking along the Promenade des Anglais abruptly left their nap. At midday on Tuesday, twelve cannon shots were fired in Nice, in the Alpes-Maritimes, to celebrate the city’s integration into the UNESCO World Heritage List, under “Winter resort town of the Riviera”.
“It is a historic event, unique in our history by its dimension and its impact”, rejoiced its mayor Christian Estrosi on Twitter. “The history of Nice [340 000 habitants, ndlr], both rooted and open, Mediterranean and Alpine, European and cosmopolitan, has produced a unique architecture and landscape, a model for many other cities around the world ”, continued the elected right.
Comprising urban spaces and green spaces, the Nice site is a “Eminent example of the fusion of international cultural influences, shaped from the mid-18th century to the mid-20th century by cosmopolitan winter resort”, indicates the city on its site, also a candidate for the European Capital of Culture for 2028.
Phocaean Greek trading post then village of the kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia in the Middle Ages, the city of Nice gained notoriety around 1766, while the travel accounts of the Scottish writer Tobias Smollett attracted the English public. The “winter capital” is organized to welcome rentiers and aristocrats in the 19th century: parks, walks, hotels, villas and its swarm of exotic flora forge the landscape. The whole world is pouring in. Every winter, at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, 150,000 people settled there, coming from the United Kingdom, Russia, Germany, Austria-Hungary, then all over Europe and finally, America. .
Its mayor Christian Estrosi launched Nice’s candidacy for Unesco heritage almost ten years ago, in 2012. The inscribed area (522 hectares) is much larger than initially planned. To optimize its chances, and justify an “Outstanding Universal Value”, the team had indeed decided to widen the perimeter and use the name “city of Riviera”. In 2018, Release explained to you how.
This week, France has a series of nominations. This Saturday, the Cordouan lighthouse and the spa town of Vichy had already entered the prestigious Unesco list. Of the 1,121 sites registered before the arrival of this new salvo, about forty are French.
Several other architectural and / or natural sites were also listed as World Heritage on Tuesday. The Brazilian site of the architect Roberto Burle Marx, the Sudanese-style mosques in the north of Côte d’Ivoire, the archaeological-astronomical complex of Chankillo in Peru, or the mining landscapes of Rosia Montana in Romania.
The last registered sites will be announced on Wednesday. For this 44th session of the World Heritage Committee, held online and from Fuzhou, China, forty-two nominations have been considered since July 16. Half were originally due to be reviewed in 2020, but had to be postponed due to the coronavirus.