The outdoor terraces of Paris's cafes and bistros are being nominated for UNESCO intangible cultural heritage status by a group that wants to raise awareness both in France and abroad of "the role that bistros and cafe terraces play in bringing people and cultures together, and their role as intellectual and artistic melting pots."
They say that the terraces are under threat both by rising rents and by multi-national chain food operations. The UNESCO status is intended to point out and raise support for endangered heritages.
"In a society that is becoming increasingly standardised, there are still places for families that make a real contribution to popular culture," said the association's head, Alain Fontaine, who owns the Masturet bistro, near the city's former stock exchange.
The French Ministry of Culture will receive the group's proposal and consider whether to present it to the next round of UNESCO selections. Also under consideration are the baguette and the outdoor booksellers (bouquinistes) along the Seine.