25 February, 2002

UNESCO: Mobilizing the backers

Champagne still dreams sweet UNESCO-dreams. The business, namely the main professional organisation CIVC, continues the work of being admitted into the list of world heritage, where several other vine areas of the world already can be found.

The dossier, that is meant to qualify Champagne, has been collected during these last couple of years. I couldn't help applying as a trainee, even I am neither geographer nor historian, and at the time also happened to be seven months pregant and didn't speak that much of French. The anwer was not yes, not no, and I got to busy to be back in touch anyway.

Now they need generalists too. The backers are being mobilized, mayors, winegrowers, cooperatives are invited at public meetings everywhere in the area, a webpage is under construction with absolutely beautiful pictures from the most pretty corners of Champagne.

One of the co-founders of the association behind, the Paysages du Champagne, is the capital of Champagne, Épernay. A city, that would like to see its rather unique Avenue de Champagne acknowledged by UNESCO. The characteristics of the avenue is its many impressive buildings. A mix of residences and industrial complexes, dating back from the 19th century, where the first champagne industries consolidated themselves economically. Champagne does not possess the chateau this or that of the Bordelais. But the avenue de Champagne of Épernays is a perfect match
s in its own way.

I guess, I just have to start writing another application for this next level of the UNESCO proces. The area of Champagne is so rich. Maybe the UNESCO-list could help the natives appreciate their fantastic heritage a bit more, than what often seems the case today. I hope so.

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