Who is the Mont Blanc? France and Italy dispute it

Mont Blanc
Image Source: Google Image

The huge massif of Mont Blanc stands out among its neighboring peaks in the Alps. It is clearly visible, visited by hundreds of thousands of people and even crossed by one of the most famous tunnels in the world. It does not seem difficult to locate. However, the maps are not clear and France and Italy dispute it.

“I was already here, so it’s mine.” This is the French argument, referring to Italy as a unified country is about 150 years old and that the French state is earlier. Italy meanwhile, clings to demarcations made by cartographers, publications mountaineers and the opinion of residents.

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The Mont Blanc massif has three main peaks: Dôme du Goûter, Punta Helbronner and the highest, Mont Blanc itself of 4,810 meters.

According to Google Maps the three peaks are in French territory, with the line of the border along the south peaks. In fact, the demarcation line draws a curious curve that “wraps” the summit of Mont Blanc.

Italians argue that the closer to the top spot is the Italian resort Courmayeur and there are reasons to support the Italian “nationality” of Mont Blanc (or Monte Bianco). And there are other constraints of the border line that support this position. There is even textbooks, mapping studies and mountaineering guides that mention the Monte Bianco as the highest point of Italy.

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To all this the voice of Courmayeur residents who say the border runs through the Mont Blanc itself adds, so the top is shared by France and Italy, moving the boundary line north … so Italy claimed to about 400 thousand square meters of land.

In a dull diplomatic border conflict in full Europe, France and Italy lead the dispute with elegance and without major clashes. But soon they should clarify this issue because, to add conflicts, global warming threatens to change the boundaries of most Alpine countries.

But that’s another story, we will have shortly.

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