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Watch town wins heritage prize

The watchmaking town of Grenchen in northwestern Switzerland was presented with the prestigious Wakker Heritage Prize on Saturday.

This content was published on June 28, 2008 - 16:39

The award is made annually by the Swiss Heritage Society (SHS) to a town or village in recognition of successful town planning developments.

SHS president Philippe Biéler praised Grenchen in particular for its thoughtful renovation of several of its post-war buildings, and to the way it had enhanced its streets and squares.

In accepting the prize the mayor, Boris Banga, said he regarded it not only as a reward for past efforts, but as an encouragement to continue in the same way.

Grenchen is located at the foot of the Jura mountains. It is a relatively young town, which has developed as a watchmaking centre over the last 150 years. Its image suffered during the recession of the industry in the 1980s.

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