but when France wanted to inscibe the whole Loire Valley they decided to merge Chambord with Loire Valley with nothing of double entry.
When I first read this my reaction was that it was hardly an example of a "merger" but more of what should have been a simple extension! UK would hardly expect to be "praised" for adding the Anonine Wall to Hadrian's Wall as an extension rather than nominating it as a separate site!
However, I have just re-read the ICOMOS evaluation for Loire Valley, and it appears that in 1999 France first nominated the Loire valley as a site completely separate from and on the basis of different criteria, compared with that of the already inscribed Chambord - so there would indeed have been 2 inscribed sites. This nomination got deferred because of the argument regarding whether the Nuclear Power station should be included or not as part of a "continuing CL". In 2000 France re-nominated - still including the nuclear power station but, this time, with a reasoned argument as to why it should be included. ICOMOS supported this view. At a closed session of the 2000 Bureau (which commenced 26 Jun), France and ICOMOS were told to go away and "re-think". A revised nomination was received by ICOMOS in September 2000 (for a WHC starting 27 Nov!!). In this revised nomination "The boundary of the nominated area has been modified so as to exclude the nuclear power station. It has also been extended to the south, so as to include the World Heritage site of the Château and Estate of Chambord, inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1981"
So, this inclusion of Chambord in a revised nomination was made incredibly late! Indeed Loire Valley was nominated ONLY on Criteria ii and v (even when Chambord had been added). Almost as an afterthought, ICOMOS commented that the WHC "may wish" to inscribe on the basis of Criterion i also since Chambord had originally been inscribed on that basis and suggested the following wording - "Criterion i. The Loire Valley is noteworthy for the quality of its architectural heritage, in its historic towns such as Blois, Chinon, Orléans, Saumur, and Tours, but in particular in its world-famous castles, such as the Château de Chambord"
So the Loire valley also got given criterion i for the towns of Blois etc, even though it wasn't nominated or even evaluated for this, and also for its "world famous castles SUCH AS ..."
Chambord. What does this use of the phrase "Such as" mean? If the other castles were included BEFORE Chambord got added then why hadn't they justified Criterion i??
In fact I can find no documentation describing the original nomination other than the AB evaluation which isn't explicit on the original boundaries. Similarly the Bureau discussions aren't accessible. The Loire Valley Nomination file, as finally inscribed, still places all the emphasis on the "Cultural Landscape" values of the Loire valley and the Chateaux hardly get a mention! Even Chambord is described primarily for its "domaine" - as would be natural for a nomination which was primarily concerned with the "landscape" aspects.
The nomination file describes how (but not when) the nominated boundaries (particularly those "beyond" the main Loire Valley) were arrived at as follows -"A l'inverse, la ou la valeur de certains sites, localises, en impose l'integration, on etendra le perimeter autant que de besoin. L'exemple-type du premier cas de figure est donne par le domaine de Chambord, dont le chateau est a six kilometres a vol d'oiseau de la Loire mais don't les paysages en sont indissociables. Les examples du second cas de figure sont ceux des sites de Chinon, d Fontevraud, d'Azay-le-Rideau et de Chenonceau. S'agissant des vallees affluentes qui conduisent a ces sites on leur appliquera le principe de la delimitation de rebord de coteau a rebord de coteau"
So, why did France decide so very late to include Chambord within the new "Loire" nomination? The publicly available record of the pressures it was coming under to change its original nomination make no mention at all of any concern that there would be 2 separate inscriptions for Loire Valley AND Chambord. Does anyone know? Was it "pure altruism" e.g to reduce the number of European sites? Was it to "add weight" to a problematical nomination? Was it in response to logical argument? If so from whom and why so late?