Official seeks UNESCO status for D-Day beaches

August 2, 2012 - 9:38 AM

PARIS (AP) — A top official in Normandy is calling for the D-Day beaches where American and Allied troops launched the invasion of German-occupied Europe to be listed among UNESCO's world heritage sites.

Laurent Beauvais (Bo-VAY), president of Lower Normandy, says the designation will allow for the protection and preservation of the five beaches that symbolize a turning point for World War II.

Beauvais was on his way Thursday to the American cemetery in Normandy with Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear.

The Frenchman says he is pushing France's federal government to send an application to the U.N. cultural organization about Normandy, which he called "a land of memories."

It can take years for a proposed heritage site to be listed, and a UNESCO official cautioned that sites linked to wars are discouraged.