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Local Matters / Changing Landscape

The City of Paris is to put forward its rooftops for UNESCO World Heritage status

800px-Paris_-_Rooftops_-_Eiffel_Tower_from_Montmartre_-_1991

The rooftops of Paris have often been the inspiration for artists, writers, and film makers. Now, the City of Paris has voted to put forward its roofscape as a candidate for UNESCO World Heritage Site status.

The idea is the brainchild of the UMP (conservative) Party Mayor of the 9th Arrondissement (district), Delphine Bürkli. Elected members of the Paris council recently agreed to the project, which will now be developed in greater detail.

The City of Light’s rooftops have been captured in numerous paintings. One of the most famous is Van Gogh’s “La Vue de Paris” (the view of Paris; 1886).

The patchwork of slate and zinc exerts a fascination on visitors to the city as well as residents. Rooftop bars and restaurants with panoramic views over Paris are perennially popular. Venues such as the Georges, at the top of the Georges Pompidou Center, or the hip Le Perchoir in the 11th arrondissement, are prized for their spectacular vistas.

The project is one of a number that aim to enhance the city. Parisians recently voted a plan to green up the city’s buildings with plants as the best way to improve their quality of life.

France already has 39 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. They include both banks of the River Seine in Paris, which were listed more than 20 years ago.

Picture Credit CC Jorge Royan

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