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LE VERDON-SUR-MER (France): Battered by the wind and swell for 400 years and nicknamed the "king of lighthouses", France's Cordouan beacon on Saturday won recognition from UNESCO.

The lighthouse, which will be added to UNESCO's World Heritage List, is the last to be inhabited in France and only the second after Spain's La Coruna to win the plaudit from the world heritage body. Cordouan was built at the very end of the 16th century and stands in the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of the Gironde estuary in southwestern France in a "highly exposed and hostile environment", according to UNESCO's World Heritage Committee which announced its decision on Saturday.

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