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In January, 2013, Delphine Batho, Minister of Ecology, Energy and Sustainable Development and Aurélie Filippetti, Minister of Culture and Communication officially proposed the Chaîne des Puys mountain chain, the Limagne cliffs, and the Chauvet Pont d’Arc cave as Unesco World Heritage sites.
In so doing, the Ministers followed the advice of the French Committee for the Protection of Culture and Heritage (Comité des Biens français) which had already proposed these two applications last year, before elaborating Champagne’s candidature.
Concerning the bid for the Coteaux, Maisons et Caves de Champagne (Vineyard slopes, Champagne houses and Champagne cellars), the Ministers have assured those who’ve presented the project of the great quality and legitimacy of this candidature. Its position should be even more favorable in 2014, because, for the moment, no other French cultural landscape has applied for the validation process.
According to Pierre Cheval, President of the Paysages du Champagne (Champagne Countryside) Association, “ We must recognize the government’s arbitrary role, which is just part of the long road towards inscription, and we must remain mobilized to accompany the Vineyard slopes, Champagne houses and Champagne cellars all the way to French qualification in 2014. Twelve month is a relatively small amount of time on the scale of the history of Champagne region”.
Only twelve months remain to develop publicity around this project, and to promote its vision in both political and scientific circles, in hopes of gathering the maximum possible support both in and beyond the region.
These several months will be spent putting into place the first concrete promotion initiatives, the pursuit of some experiments with pilot sites and the solidification of our organizational plan, to reassure French and international experts of the will and ability of local winegrowing professionals and local authorities to protect and promote this heritage site over time.
In continuity with its usual approach, the Paysages du Champagne (Champagne Countryside) Association will co-sponsor large events to be held at the three sites in order to promote the candidacy project to the larger public.
Now, more than ever, it’s time for each inhabitant of the Champagne region to join in this project and find a way to get involved personally. Let’s remember that since May 29, 2012, the day of the official launching of the local mobilization campaign, 45,000 people have joined in support of this ambitious collective project. The powerful momentum of this mobilization is testimony of the attachment residents and other lovers of Champagne region have for this rare and exceptional heritage. By awarding Champagne in 2014, France will validate the efforts of so many who’ve made this project their own, as ambassadors, partners, media, local volunteers… Then it will be time to share the message with the rest of the world.
How to contribute to this mobilization?
Paysages du Champagne Association
(00) 33 (0)3 26 77 42 92