vorige Hefte

Jean-François Caron:
The application by the Nord-Pas-de-Calais coal-field to be entered in the UNESCO list of the world's cultural heritage

On 30 January 2003, the Association Bassin Minier UNESCO in Lens resolved to submit an official application to have the Nord-Pas-de-Calais coal-field entered in the UNESCO list of the world's cultural heritage as a "cultural landscape capable of development". Over the following five years, the unique and unusual richness of the mining heritage in Nord-Pas-de-Calais has been elaborated. Thus, over almost three centuries, mining permanently changed the region with its landscapes and towns, including the identity and customs of the people living there. Many artefacts which to the present day provide evidence of these industrial activities in the coal-field possess an extraordinary force and demonstrate the great upheavals that were provoked by industrialization for both the landscape and the populace. The article sets forth the contents, motives and procedures of the application.