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French minister for Culture and Communication Aurélie Filippetti has formally endorsed Champagne's candidacy for inclusion as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Titled ‘Vineyard Slopes, Champagne Houses and Champagne Cellars’ Champagne’s application will now be submitted for inclusion alongside the ‘climats’ of Burgundy.
Champagne's submission lays emphasis on the unique industrial heritage that, from the 19th century onwards, helped to establish Champagne wine as a worldwide symbol of quality. As noted by the minister and experts representing the National Committee for French World Heritage Properties, originality and scientific quality are important dimensions in assessing outstanding universal value. They concluded that Champagne's application, ‘Vineyard Slopes, Champagne Houses and Champagne Cellars’, did satisfy all necessary conditions and deserved formal endorsement at national level.
The decision marks the achievement of another step towards UNESCO recognition. It represent’s a long awaited victory for all parties to the candidacy – a just reward for seven years' work and a campaign that has mobilized stakeholders throughout Champagne.
The submission will be assessed on behalf of UNESCO by specialists of the International Council on Monuments and Sites, which will visit the site in 2014.
Advocates for the project representing the Association Paysages du Champagne (Champagne landscapes association) will seek to demonstrate in detail the exceptional nature of the Vineyard slopes, Champagne Houses and Champagne Cellars defined in the application. They will emphasise the ability and willingness of stakeholders to honour their commitment to implement a management plan for the protection and enhancement of this Heritage Property.
Champagne's inclusion on the World Heritage list will be decided by UNESCO's World Heritage committee at its annual meeting in the summer of 2015. In the meantime, it is vital that the huge public support generated by Champagne's candidacy be sustained right through to that eagerly awaited classification.
For detailed information about the candidacy and how you might serve as its ambassador, visit www.paysagesduchampagne.fr.
Association Paysages du Champagne
03 26 77 42 92