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"Cosmos cinema" celebrates its recognition

The Swiss environment minister, Moritz Leuenberger, described a World Heritage site in northeastern Switzerland on Saturday as a "cinema of the cosmos".

This content was published on May 30, 2009 - 16:43

Leuenberger was in the resort of Flims at an official celebration of the Swiss Tectonic Arena Sardona or Glarus overthrust.

His observation highlighted the phenomenon of the Martin's Hole, which twice a year is watched by thousands of people wanting to see the rays of the sun pass through it and fall directly on the church tower of Elm.

The arena was recognised for its outstanding beauty last year by the United Nations culture organisation, Unesco. It is a formation revealing to the naked eye how the Alps were formed.

A clearly visible line separates the older, darker rock on top and the younger, lighter rock below.

The World Heritage Committee has said the Swiss Tectonic Arena Sardona presents an "exceptional and dramatic display of mountain building through continental collision".

It also emphasised that the numbers of tectonic sites suitable for inscription in the World Heritage List was likely to be "very small".

swissinfo.ch with agencies

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