Inclusion of Paris rooftops on the UNESCO list of world heritage sites: protecting and enhancing


Inclusion of Paris rooftops on the UNESCO list of world heritage sites: protecting and enhancing

Paris wouldn't be Paris without its distinctive rooftops

The ambitious project launched by Delphine Bürkli, mayor of the 9th district in Paris, promoting the application for classification of the famous Parisian rooftops as a Unesco world heritage site was supported by a unanimous vote by the Council of Paris in September 2014. Nine months later, the consensus is not so broad. The mayor of Paris wants to boost rooftop extensions while the Green Party is defending green roofs.

On 5 February 2015, the Unesco World Heritage application was officially launched via the creation of a support committee chaired by journalist and photographer Gilles Mermet, author of a book entitled "Parisian rooftops: the art of roofers”. The stated objective is both to protect and enhance this heritage. In terms of tourism, several projects emerged, including the creation on rooftops of festive and sports venues, vegetable gardens and panoramic viewpoints.

The support committee is sponsored by the French Association of Climatic Engineering and Plumbing & Metal Roofing companies (GCCP), which is particularly concerned by this issue: approximately 3,000 roofers ensure the durability of the capital's roofs on a daily basis.

The majority of historic roofs were clad with VMZINC zinc almost 200 years ago. We support the GCCP in its promotion of the image of Paris because it contributes to raising the profile of the zinc-roofers' (sometimes referred to as “tinsmiths”) trade, which combines genuine know-how and a material that deserves national and international recognition.

Substantive long-term work is now being carried out by the support committee with two overarching objectives in mind: inscription of this application on the tentative list of French properties for inclusion in world heritage sites and the selection by France of this project with a view to presenting it to UNESCO! The actual classification will take four to five years.

Roger Baltus
Engineer- Architect
VMZINC Communication Director



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