Nice (France) (AFP)
The United Nations cultural organization said on Tuesday it had added the French Mediterranean city of Nice to its World Heritage list.
UNESCO made the announcement in a tweet describing Nice, famous for its mild climate, as a “winter resort town of the Riviera”.
Nice joins France’s more than 40 World Heritage sites which include the banks of the Seine in Paris, Amiens Cathedral, 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 la Belle”, the city attracted the European aristocracy from the 18th century, starting with the British royalty who made their name bear on the seafront “Promenade des Anglais”.
Painters like Marc Chagall and Henri Matisse also stayed there, as did writers Anton Tchekhov and Friedrich Nietzsche.
# photo1The seafront promenade became the scene of a deadly attack on July 14, 2016, when a 31-year-old Tunisian 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 secure funding for the preservation of sites.
© 2021 AFP