London, Dec 15 (ANI): A campaign has been launched to preserve the landscapes painted by the impressionists along the banks of Seine in France, as a world treasure.
According to a report in The Times, Georges Mothron, a conservative MP, hopes that the landscapes will one day join the Acropolis and the Great Wall of China on the "protected" list of UNESCO's (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's) world heritage sites.
"The heritage of the French impressionists, sadly, is a bit hidden these days," said Mothron. "Japanese and American tourists often come to Argenteuil hoping to see where they painted. It is not a pleasant experience for them. They leave disappointed," he added.
Impressionists like Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Gustave Caille-botte, Edouard Manet and Alfred Sisley painted in the town of Argenteuil, which, at the end of the 19th century, was popular with boating parties from Paris and famous for its white figs and asparagus.
Monet's sojourn was particularly creative, as he produced a series of river scenes, highlighting yachts and bridges, including the railway bridge, part of which still exists today. e also painted the main square and the Rue Saint-Denis.
Putting such places under the wing of UNESCO would help to improve Argenteuil's standing, according to Mothron.
"We want to be proud of our town. It's an identity thing. If more British, Japanese and American tourists come here, it will be for the best," said Doucet, a socialist, who approves of Mothron's campaign. "There's a lot of work to be done to make Argenteuil more attractive to tourists," he added.
According to Mothron, he was inspired by the mayor of Le Havre, who has managed to get the northern town's postwar architecture listed.
Mothron hopes to extend the scheme to include impressionist landscapes all over France.
"There should be impressionist tours for people to go on," he said. (ANI)