Irina Bokova celebrates the 40th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention in Versailles
The Director-General, Irina Bokova and all of the Permanent Delegations to UNESCO have been invited on a special visit to the Palace of Versailles on 9 February 2012. This invitation, at the initiative of France, is part of the celebrations of the 40th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention.
Irina Bokova highlighted the excellent practices of sustainable tourism that are put into effect at the Palace of Versailles saying “since its inscription [on UNESCO’s World Heritage List] in 1979, Versailles has undergone constant work to improve the welcoming of visitors, to safeguard this heritage and to reconcile multiple demands, that are sometimes contradictory, between the steady stream of visitors and the restoration requirements of the Palace”. “Versailles has shown it is possible to transform these constraints into a positive force, to look to the future while maintaining its timeless dimension,” she continued.
Describing this extraordinary site, the President of the Public Establishment of Versailles, Catherine Pegard said that Versailles offers "an exceptional landscape born out of dreams and the intelligence of Louis XIV. This heritage is deeply compelling". "UNESCO has a special place, not only in our hearts but also in our minds," she continued, referring to the valuable Work UNESCO does through the World Heritage Convention.
In his speech, the Permanent Delegate of the Republic of France to UNESCO, Daniel Rondeau, underlined the importance of Versailles to the French people saying: "Versailles is a symbolic place for us, the French. Each visit to Versailles is a celebration of the French mind and spirit."