A great victory as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for ‘Nice the Beautiful’


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The Mediterranean city of Nice in France has been added to the World Heritage list, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) announced last week.

Unesco in a tweet called Nice a “winter resort town on the Côte d’Azur”.

Nice joins France’s more than 40 World Heritage sites, which include the banks of the Seine in Paris, the Notre-Dame d’Amiens cathedral basilica, Mont Saint-Michel and stretches of the Loire Valley.

“The history of Nice, both deeply rooted and open, Mediterranean and Alpine, European and cosmopolitan, has produced a unique architecture and landscape, a model for many other cities in the world,” said the mayor of Nice , Christian Estrosi, said in reaction to the announcement.

With nearly a million inhabitants, Greater Nice is the second city on the French Mediterranean coast after Marseille, and the fifth in France.

It is a tourist hotspot with several million visitors a year, and its airport is one of the busiest in the country.

Nicknamed “Nice the Beautiful”, the city attracted European aristocracy as early as the 18th century, starting with British royalty, which gave its name to the waterfront “Promenade des Anglais”.

World-famous painters including Marc Chagall and Henri Matisse also stayed there, as did writers Anton Tchekhov and Friedrich Nietzsche.

The seafront promenade became the scene of a deadly attack on July 14, 2016, when a 31-year-old Tunisian man drove a truck into the crowd gathered for a fireworks display celebrating the French National Day.

Eighty-six people, including 15 children, were killed in the attack claimed by ISIS.

The cultural body of the United Nations grants World Heritage status to sites deemed to be of particular universal value to humanity.

Major heritage sites include the Great Wall of China, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, Machu Picchu in Peru, and the Acropolis in Greece. The distinction sought brings intangible benefits, but also often stimulates tourism and can help raise funds for the preservation of sites. – AFP

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