Paris Bistros Ask for UNESCO World Heritage Status

July 4, 2018 Updated: July 4, 2018

Typical Parisian bistros and cafes could join the UNESCO “intangible cultural heritage” list in 2020 after an association of owners, actors, and other individuals launched a campaign to grant these establishments “protected” status.

These sites have come to symbolize the strength, defiance, and joy of life of Parisians after the November 2015 attacks that left 130 people dead, several of which were gunned down at such bistros and cafes.

For many tourists and French citizens, they have always been an emblematic part of Paris.

According to Alain Fontaine, bistro owner and founder of the association, bistros are also losing the battle against fast food and other more profitable restaurants. Bistros made up to 50 percent of Parisian restaurants 30 years ago, while they only represent 14 percent today, Fontaine told Reuters TV.

UNESCO recognition would help boost and perpetuate the bistro tradition by adding prestige to the establishments and identifying them clearly for tourists.

A final version of the dossier will be submitted to the French Ministry of Culture in December 2018, where it will be examined for potential submission to UNESCO.