A PANEL of expert government advisers has recommended putting forward the D-Day beaches for listing as Unesco World Heritage.
The Comité des Biens Français du Patrimoine Mondial, which assists ministers with listing projects, has accepted the Normandy beaches, along with “the scenery and memorial sites of the First World War” and the city of Metz. This is the first step towards listing.
The regional council of Normandy is pressing hard for inclusion of the beaches to help maintain their tourist pull despite the fact there are fewer and fewer veterans.
President Laurent Beauvais said in a statement: “I am delighted by this good news just a few months from the commemorations of the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Normandy...
“Hundreds of thousands of visitors are expected in June on the beaches, which are universal symbols of peace and reconciliation between former enemies. Our application speaks to the world, because the whole world comes to these beaches.”
The next step towards listing will be if Culture Minister Aurélie Fillipetti accepts the choices for registration on an official list of projects, la liste indicative, with a decision expected to be imminent.
Projects listed are then developed further with help from the Comité des Biens. To succeed it is necessary to convince Unesco of the importance of the sites and that there is a will to use the prestigious label to protect them and make the most of them.
A petition to support the listing of the beaches has been launched at Normandy Liberty