controversy surrounding Prince Albert of Monaco’s helicopter ride to the top of Gran Paradiso

The many photos taken on July 12, above Gran Paradiso, of a smiling Albert of Monaco, with a group of guides, gave no indication of the impending storm. But since the conditions of the prince’s ascension have been revealed, controversy has erupted. This one will make a large part of the journey by helicopter, at the expense of the taxpayer.

As if the political crisis rocking Italy was not enough, today the regional council of the autonomous region of the Aosta Valley is also under fire. In addition, due to the expected visit of a famous person from outside the small French-speaking region.

On July 12, it was to participate in the celebrations marking the creation, 100 years ago, of the Gran Paradiso National Park, the first in Italy, that Prince Albert II of Monaco went to the Aosta Valley. . Very pleased with the visit of such a media personality, the “Fondazione Gran Paradiso”, which manages the promotion of Gran Paradiso for the municipalities of the Aosta Valley of the park, intended to take advantage of the prince’s visit to highlight the effects of the hot in the world in his territory.

After the signing of the “Grand Paradis Charter” with the president of the Aosta Valley region, which entrusts the Principality and the Italian region especially to sustainable development and good environmental behavior, Albert II, determines the Foundation that organizes at the “Gran Paradiso Film Festival”, “Want to be personally aware of the state of deterioration of the glaciers of the Aosta Valley, of retreat due to global warming, and whose fate is as worrying as the oceans”.

And the Prince to go the next day, backpack, crampons on his feet and ice ax in hand, as evidenced by pictures taken at 4,061 meters above sea level, on top of the mythical Italian summit.

A few photos to immortalize the event. And a symbolic deposit, above, of the famous “protocol of friendship and protection of the Grand Paradiso park” signed the day before, 4,000 meters below. Here is Albert II leaving the Aosta Valley. The princely visit could have remained in the Foundation’s photo album as one of the highlights of this year’s celebration of the centennial of the park.

However, a few days later, it was the Mountain Wilderness association that was the first to change the quality of the shots captured by the princely roped party. In expressing the doubts expressed in a post by a member of the guards of the national park of Gran Paradiso, the environmentalists did more than excavate the climb to Gran Paradiso by Albert of Monaco.

“Seeing the photos of the climb in which Prince Albert II participated, our first doubts arose. Suspicions confirmed in a post, now removed by its author”reveals the Mountain Wilderness.

And the association to quote the quotes we are talking about “Tourist flight organized for the Prince”with the helicopter drop-off under the summit where Albert II “pretending to come from the bottom of the valley on foot, without creating any pollution”. Even worse, the region made it possible, for the occasion, to provide a reserve alpine rescue helicopter. At the expense of the Aosta Valley taxpayer.

“My shame is even greater for the institution represented by the Gran Paradiso National Park, which endorses the useless and potentially dangerous overflight for the fauna of the park, despite the negative and reasonable opinions issued by surveillance body in the Park”concluded the member of the park rangers quoted in Mountain Wilderness.

A confirmation that the environmental association comments on its own method in the form of a question: “Is it really necessary to helicopter such a rope, where HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco is clearly visible at the top of the mountain, if not to take some pictures accompanied by big clickbait headlines?”

Revelations that do not fail to raise the air of controversy in the regional political class. A fortiori in the pre-election campaign climate that has dominated Italy since the fall of the Draghi government.

“The fact that there is an election campaign further complicates the general framework of discussions between local political forces”commented Erik Lavevaz, the president of the Aosta Valley region to our daily colleagues La Stampa. Starting with the appointment of his vice-president for the environment, for example. A member of the regional government that will be very useful for him to respond to acid press releases from at least six parties in his assembly, especially on the left, and even on the far right.

“The world is on firecriticized political parties that use Mountain Wilderness arguments, and this whole activity brings us to the apparent contradiction of the values ​​of the 2030 agenda that the region says it wants to promote (…) This appeal launched from the summit of Gran Paradiso by the authorities to the ordinary citizens (ie those who still walk in the mountains) have lost all meaning”end those who signed a written question to ask that the responsibilities of those who authorized this overflight be established.

The summer of the centenary of the first Italian national park in history is therefore not easy. Nor in the political level of this activity in the “princely rope” which is timely to poison the election campaign. It must be held in August because of the ballot scheduled for September 25. A first in the history of the Italian Republic.

Gran Paradiso National Park announced in a Facebook post the flying of the flag celebrating its centennial creation. “This ugly gesture, because the flag was cut (not torn by the wind), should not make us forget the reason it was raised: to celebrate 100 years of history and the future for this entire protected area”, said the management of the park in Italy. And add that another flag will be returned to the same place to continue flying at the summit of Gran Paradiso until the end of summer.

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