Ten years of persuasion
First, muster local support. Prior to inscription in 2012, France needed to be persuaded to commit to the Mining Basin and uphold the merits of this candidature in the field. Support from the French government was secured in 2002, with the inclusion of the Mining Basin on its tentative list, government was secured in 2002, with the inclusion of the Mining Basin on its tentative list, yet this was merely a start. The Bassin Minier Uni organisation was founded to shoulder the project. In January 2010, the French government filed the candidature at the World Heritage Centre. France thus chose the Mining Basin to represent it at the highest level. The candidature was for real at last. This first victory came as a reward for the long hard work drawing up the inscription proposal and mobilising all the stakeholders in the territory. International industrial heritage experts then assessed the candidature over an 18-month period. The government caused minor disappointment in 2011, putting the candidature off for a year in favour of other, older candidatures. However, a year later, the Mining Basin was unanimously voted in on its first attempt!
Stéphane Benhamou’s film « Inscription » retraces the full history of this candidature.