In addition, Chenonceau is added to the Loire Valley as a minor border modification.
Has anyone read the cock and bull story which accompanies this so called "minor border modification"?
In 2000, "The Loire Valley between Sully-sur-Loire and Chalonnes" was inscribed on the World Heritage List on the basis of criteria (i), (ii) and (iv). The initial nomination dossier however was inconsistent in its treatment of the Château de Chenonceau: although not shown on the maps indicating the boundaries of the property, the château was described in an information sheet in the dossier, stating that it was one of the property's principal monuments. The State Party wishes to correct this inconsistency by requesting a minor modification of the property's boundaries
I have looked through the 553 page Nomination Dossier which actually dates back to 1998 and had to be resubmitted in 2000 after an original deferral largely because of concern about the nuclear power station. Indeed it only gained inscription via a very tight WHC vote.
Because a large part of the dossier is photocopied it isn't possible to carry out a simple PDF "search" to discover references to Chenonceau. I eventually found what must be the information sheet referred on Page 172 with 5 additional lines on the next page. It sits between a similar page for the "Ville de Tours" and "Amboise" I can see NOTHING stating that it was one of the property's "principal monuments"! It does say that "il est, dans sa categorie, le monument le plus visite du Val de Loire". It was given Ref no 56 BUT the section is then followed by pages and pages of maps not a single one of which shows Chenonceau. So - was the "mistake" or "inconsistency" the missing out of Chenonceau from page after page of the Nomination dossier, maps etc etc or the inclusion of a single page among over 500 as the only reference that it might have been intended to be a part of the Nomination"?
At no point did ICOMOS point out that Chenonceau (which isn't actually situated in the Loire Valley" of course, even if it is culturally linked to it) should be included in the maps, boundaries etc etc. Indeed it seems to have been quite happy that this chateau outside the phyisical "Loire Valley" should not be included. That, whilst the inclusion of the previously inscribed Chateau of Chambord DID receive particular comment - indeed it seems that the nomination of the Cultural Landscape of the Loire Valley was only nominated on criteria ii and iv - and it was the WHC which decided to carry forward Criterion i - "Chambord has been inscribed on the World Heritage List on the basis of criterion (i) alone. The revised State Party nomination incorporated this property into the cultural landscape of the Loire Valley. The Committee decided that criterion (i) is also applicable to this new inscription." No mention for instance that Chenonceau would support/bolster this additional criterion.
17 years has passed since the Loire Valley was inscribed - even the 2012 Periodic Report made no mention of the lack of Chenonceau. And now after all this time we are supposed to believe that a little "mistake" was made or an "inconsistency" was introduced which now needs correcting!
In fact of course France was up against it to get the Loire Valley inscribed in 2000 and seems to have majored on the Cultural Landscape aspects and saw no need to include a Chateau from a different "valley". So, now we have one of the World's most significant Chateaux added on the fly as a "minor modification"!
I wonder how ICOMOS would have treated a similar "minor modification" from a smaller non European country!!