13 Jan 2011

2011 to mark France's year of overseas territories

11:34 am on 13 January 2011

The French government has officially launched the year of the French overseas territories as part of a campaign to make the 12 territories better known.

The interior and culture ministers have officiated at the launch, pointing to the cultural and artistic wealth the territories add to France.

The minister in charge of the overseas territories, Marie-Luce Penchard, says the territories have 80 percent of France's biodiversity and make France the world's second maritime power.

To mark the year, 12 columns of the National Assembly building will be illuminated in 12 different colours next month to represent each territory.