Condom (France) (AFP)

Emmanuel Macron on Friday called on the French to participate in Heritage Days, especially in small and medium-sized municipalities despite the cancellation of the event in several large cities such as Marseille, Nice or Bordeaux because of the Covid-19.

"There are many metropolises where the virus circulates ardently" and in which "we had to cancel the Heritage Days", but "a significant part of our heritage will be visitable in medium or small towns" by being "very cautious ”, declared the Head of State in Condoms (Gers).

There he visited the Hôtel de Polignac, a neoclassical-style building dating from the end of the 18th century and one of the 18 endangered monuments that had benefited from the Loto du patrimoine in 2018.

Thanks to this lottery, "180 sites have already been saved", he said, stressing that 326 million euros were invested each year in heritage.

Emmanuel Macron particularly praised the "hard work" carried out by Stéphane Bern to "identify" the renovation projects of remarkable sites throughout France which have enabled the French to "reclaim their heritage".

The famous television host, initiator of the Loto du Patrimoine, accompanied him, alongside the Minister of Culture Roselyne Bachelot, Guillaume Poitrinal, President of the Heritage Foundation, Stéphane Pallez, CEO of the Française des Jeux and by Brigitte Macron.

Emmanuel Macron recalled that the recovery plan of 100 billion euros provided for two billion for culture, including 615 million for heritage and museums.

Of this sum, 334 million will go to large establishments such as the Louvre, Versailles or the Musée d'Orsay and 280 million to heritage in the regions and to the promotion of fine crafts and know-how of excellence.

Due to the worsening health situation, more than 1,500 Heritage Days events had to be canceled in 400 places.

And the densely populated department of Bouches-du-Rhône, Guadeloupe, the Lille metropolis, Nice, Bordeaux, Saint-Etienne, Firminy, Ajaccio, Maubeuge, Dunkirk, Boulogne have given up on opening their monuments.

In Paris, the Elysée will open its doors to the public this weekend but to an audience reduced to 2,500 people per day, almost three times less than last year.

But the presidential palace can be visited virtually on its website.

In Matignon, Prime Minister Jean Castex will welcome visitors on Saturday from 10 a.m., before going, with Roselyne Bachelot, to the Gobelins factory which manages the national furniture.

The National Assembly will open its doors from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm to previously registered visitors.

© 2020 AFP