The French port of Sète was built by Colbert in 1666, as the Mediterranean entrance of the Canal du Midi. The Môle Saint Louis, built in 1669, is the historic breakwater mole sheltering the port and the canal entrance. The first light station in Sète was constructed by Vauban in 1684. The original tower was rebuilt a few years later when the mole was extended; that tower served until a taller lighthouse was built in February 1861. The present lighthouse is a copy of the 1861 lighthouse, which was destroyed on August 19, 1944 during World War II. The 31 m (101 ft) round white masonry tower is located at the end of the mole.
The International Year of Chemistry 2011 is a worldwide celebration of the achievements of chemistry and its contributions to the well-being of humankind. Under the unifying theme “Chemistry—our life, our future,” it aims to raise awareness of chemistry among the general public and to attract young people into the field, as well as to highlight the role of chemistry in solving global problems.
The year 2011 will coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Nobel Prize awarded to Madame Marie Curie, the Polish–French physicist–chemist famous for her pioneering research on radioactivity.
Curie was the first woman to be awarded a Nobel Prize (Physics 1903) and the first person honored with two Nobel Prizes (Chemistry 1911). The official launch ceremony of the IYC 2011 took place on 27–28 January in Paris at the headquarters of the United Nations Educational Scientific & Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The French Post issued on January 28, 2011 a beautiful 0, 87 € stamp celebrating Madame Curie and the Year of Chemistry.