Welsh street named steepest in world; New Zealand loses out

Gwyn Headley and Sarah Badham hold a certificate for the record title for world's steepest street, in Harlech, Wales, Britain July 10, 2019, in this handout photo released on July 16, 2019. (Reuters)
Updated 17 July 2019

Welsh street named steepest in world; New Zealand loses out

  • The Welsh campaign was led by businessman and architectural historian Gwyn Headley. He says he feels “jubilation” now that the street has been recognized

LONDON: A street in Wales has been designated the steepest in the world after a successful campaign by residents.
The title comes at the expense of a street in New Zealand, which has apparently been eclipsed in the steepness sweepstakes.
Guinness World Records said Tuesday that the street of Ffordd Pen Llech in the seafront town of Harlech, 245 miles (395 kilometers) northwest of London, has a gradient of 37.45%, two percentage points steeper than the former title holder in Dunedin on New Zealand’s South Island.
The Welsh campaign was led by businessman and architectural historian Gwyn Headley. He says he feels “jubilation” now that the street has been recognized.
He says he feels sorry for New Zealand, but that “steeper is steeper.”


Paris Louvre museum reopens Monday after crippling losses

Updated 04 July 2020

Paris Louvre museum reopens Monday after crippling losses

  • The Louvre in Paris has been closed since March 13
  • Among more than 10 million visitors in 2018, almost three-quarters were tourists

PARIS: The Louvre in Paris, the world’s most visited museum and home to the Mona Lisa, reopens on Monday but with coronavirus restrictions in place and parts of the complex closed to visitors.
The Louvre has been closed since March 13 and this has already led “to losses of over 40 million euros,” its director Jean-Luc Martinez said.
Among more than 10 million visitors in 2018, almost three-quarters were tourists.
“We have lost 80 percent of our public. Seventy-five percent of our visitors were foreigners,” Martinez said.
“We will at best see 20 to 30 percent of our numbers recorded last summer — between 4,000 and 10,000 visitors daily at the most,” he said.
Visitors will have to wear masks, there will be no snacks or cloakrooms available and the public will have to follow a guided path through the museum.
Positions have been marked in front of the Mona Lisa — where tourists routinely pose for selfies — to ensure social distancing.
France contributes $112 million to the Louvre’s $222.5 million annual budget and the museum must make up the rest, according to experts.
Seventy percent of the museum’s public areas — or 45,000 square meters (about 485,000 square feet) — will be open to the public.
After the success of its blockbuster Leonardo exhibition which closed earlier this year, the Louvre said its two exhibitions scheduled for spring and then postponed would now take place in the autumn.
These are on Italian sculpture from Donatello to Michelangelo and the renaissance German master Albrecht Altdorfer.
The Louvre has upped its virtual presence during the lockdown and said it was now the most followed museum in the world on Instagram with over four million followers.
Martinez is planning a revamp of the museum ahead of 2024, when Paris hosts the Olympic Games.