Understanding our Cluniac application

The grouping « Cluny and Clunisien sites », which is to be put forward for « world heritage » recognition by UNESCO will be placed within the category of related properties that cross national boundaries. What, exactly, is this category ?

The founders of the convention for the protection of the world’s cultural and natural heritage had proposed to society in general that we recognise these unique examples as beacons of our civilisation. They could be cultural assets (monuments, towns, cultural landscapes, traditions), natural assets (natural parklands, reserves, islands) or indeed a mixture of both.

We can note as examples of cultural assets Amiens cathedral in France or the historic city of Toledo in Spain.

Forty years on, this idea of heritage has evolved as our society has evolved. Society now sees it as appropriate to recognise groupings of related assets : these are known as assets in series.

Such « assets in series » include two or more constituent éléments related by clearly defined links : : cultural, social or functional at the time which produce, as appropriate, a commonality in landscape, ecology, evolution of habitat. Each component part must contribute individually to the overall « exceptional universal value » of the asset.

When these assets are found in two different countries – not necessarily even having a common border – we refer to these as being assets in a transnational set.

It is in this category that the overall list of « Cluny and Cluniac sites » would be placed.