France, Belgium seek UNESCO recognition for WWI memorials

France, Belgium seek UNESCO recognition for WWI memorials
The Associated Press

BRUSSELS (AP) — France and Belgium are urging UNESCO to designate scores of their World War I memorials and cemeteries as World Heritage sites as the centennial remembrance of the 1914-1918 war nears its end.

The Franco-Belgian border, where much of the fiercest fighting of World War I took place, is dotted with monuments to the dead who fought on battlefields ranging from Verdun in France to Passchendaele in Belgium.

The war between a group led by Germany against France, the British Commonwealth and the United States saw some 3 million people die around the front line, which stretched from the Belgian coast to the Swiss border. More than 2 million men are buried in the region.

A UNESCO panel will assess it and 29 other nominations at a meeting in Bahrain that starts Sunday.

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