World Heritage Identification Mission

Corsica, an island with a surface area of 8,722 km2 occupying a central position in the western Mediterranean, boasts an impressive diversity of landscapes: a rocky coastline, dense scrubland and forests, and rugged mountains.


The oldest traces of human occupation date back to the Mesolithic period, 8,500 years before our era. Strongly influenced by its Mediterranean neighbours, the island passed under the control of several civilisations such as the Etruscans, Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals, Byzantines, Ostrogoths, Lombards, Papal States, Moors, Pisans, Genoese and then after a short period of independence the French.

Called Kallisté ("the most beautiful" in ancient Greek) during antiquity, the island of beauty today offers a rich and varied heritage of undeniable cultural, natural and scientific interest. Due to its position at the crossroads of Mediterranean influences, Corsica's heritage is a privileged witness to the historical interconnections of the basin, motivating CoPaM to act for its preservation and enhancement. 

By classifying its remarkable cultural sites, Corsica reinforces the worldwide base that these sites could acquire as universal and exceptional assets in the Mediterranean, and favours the awareness of the local actors on the richness of the assets in the heart of which they live.

Mandated by the Collectivité de Corse, CoPaM's mission is to analyse different sites in order to select a few that can be submitted for inclusion in UNESCO's World Heritage List.

The interest of cooperation with cross-border regions (Tuscany, Sardinia, Balearic Islands, etc.) on the portage has oriented this project around three themes:

The project is currently underway, and progress has been made on the Aléria site. Remarkable in France, this site has a mixed heritage: both cultural and natural, making it possible to carry out a double inscription project. Thus the teams are mobilised to submit a joint dossier with Etruria for inscription on the list of transnational and transborder properties on the theme of Etruscan heritage and coastal landscapes, and a specific dossier for Aléria and its territories to be submitted more quickly. Carrying the Aléria dossier also raises the question of a joint inscription as a multiple and transboundary property with the Etruscan site of Populonia in Tuscany for their marine and unique character.

Project Leaders
Collectivity of Corsica
Main Partners
CoPaM, Collectivité de Corse, UNESCO, ICOMOS France, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Ecological Transition and Solidarity, Direction du Patrimoine, DRAC Corse, Jean André Bertozzi
Objectives of the project
  • Update with the Collectivité de Corse and local State institutions on the various sites identified as being suitable for inclusion in the tentative list.
  • Development of an initial selection of three or four sites.
  • Preparation of a primary dossier on the selected sites in order to make a first round with the various structures concerned.
  • Prioritisation of the level of admissibility of each of these sites.
  • To complete the iconographic background of the selected site with panoramic photographs, images and video footage of the site, and with the research and collation of documents relating to the history of the site.
  • Definition, based on the natural and cultural criteria of the 1972 UNESCO World Heritage Convention, of the extent of the territory to be taken into account, including elements of intangible heritage. These criteria will eventually allow the design of a plan of the site to be inscribed on the World Heritage List, including its buffer zone.
  • Finalise the validation of the conditions for the inclusion of the site on the Tentative List with the two ministries concerned, in collaboration with their regional departments responsible for World Heritage issues.
  • Definition of the approach of the Corsican territorial authority to the French State for inclusion on the indicative list.
  • Proposal of the method and specifications to be put in place for the realization of the file for the request of inscription to UNESCO after having passed in front of the committee of the world heritage.
  • Drawing up a management plan within this file, which is necessary for inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage List, in association with the State services, local authorities and local players (inhabitants, associations, etc.)
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CoPaM in action
Support to the overall coordination of the project.
Technical and heritage expertise in the analysis and identification of the various sites concerned.
Elaboration of the dossier of the site selected for the World Heritage application, including the methodology and the management plan, in cooperation with the different stakeholders involved in this project.
Support for fundraising.
Arles Arena
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