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Published on August 3, 2010
Inscription of the Episcopal City of Albi and the Pitons, cirques and remparts of Réunion on the UNESCO World Heritage List – Statement by Nicolas Sarkozy, President of the Republic

Paris, August 2, 2010

I am delighted that the Episcopal City of Albi and the “Pitons, cirques and remparts (1) of Réunion Island” have been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The “red city” (2) of Albi and green fortress of Réunion are two iconic monuments of our cultural and natural heritage. Today, it is symbolic that they have together been given this international recognition.

I know that this is the successful outcome of a long-term effort, so I would like to thank the ministries involved, the La Réunion National Park management and local authorities, not forgetting, of course, the local people and civil society, who in the cases of Albi and Réunion went all out to obtain this success.

I am sure that this prestigious label will benefit these localities and, more broadly, France’s image, and that it will further enhance the profile of these sites and preservation of this heritage.

The defence of biodiversity and cultural diversity is a major political concern of our country, which finds in UNESCO an intermediary and very valuable partner for promoting and garnering support for this vision and this commitment./.

(1) impressive escarpments formed by volcanoes
(2) due to the colour of the bricks of its cathedral and old town

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