Two victories for the defense of the botanical gardens at Serres d’Auteuil

Two victories have been won by the heritage associations acting in defense of the Serres d´Auteuil botanical gardens following a letter of support published on 18 December by Europa Nostra and its president, Maestro Plácido Domingo. The letter requested that the French authorities bring an immediate halt to the demolition works affecting the botanical gardens since last summer until the many objections it faced were addressed and “all concerned parties could engage in a constructive dialogue which could lead to an alternative solution that would allow everyone to emerge a winner”.

Photo: Lise Bloch-Morhange

Photo: Lise Bloch-Morhange

On the same day, the Tribunal de Grande Instance (TGI) in Paris ordered the immediate halt of the French Tennis Federation’s demolition works at the botanical gardens of Serres d´Auteuil, following action taken by the heirs of Jean-Camille Formigé, the landscape architect of the garden and greenhouses, until their legal objections have been addressed.

On 24 March, the Administrative Tribunal (TA) in Paris ordered the suspension of the building permits until it could “rule on the legality of this decision” in the final months of 2016. The Tribunal noted that the project “will effectively change the appearance of this part of the Bois de Boulogne” which is protected by law, and that it will “reduce its accessibility for public walks”. The Tribunal had previously received a referral from four heritage organisations on this issue: France Nature Environnement, SOS Paris, the Société pour la Protection des Paysages et de l’Esthétique de la France and the Association Vieilles Maisons Françaises – a member organization of Europa Nostra.

The French Tennis Federation has indicated that it will lodge an appeal with the Council of State while the heritage organisations involved continue to take substantive legal action towards protecting the Serres d´Auteuil botanical gardens from the detrimental modernisation and extension proposed by the Roland Garros sporting complex.

We now invite you to demonstrate your support for heritage protection by signing the petition “Sauvons les Serres d’Auteuil” which has already gathered more than 80,000 signatures.

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