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Intangible Cultural Heritage

 

Intangible Cultural Heritage

Italian elements inscribed on the List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

 

What is the intangible cultural heritage?

 

The traditions, oral expressions, performing arts, rituals, festive events, craftsmanship skills and traditional farming practices are the “intangible heritage” which expresses a living testimony of a community’s identity.

In 2003,UNESCO’s General Conference - which comprises all of its Member States - adopted the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, which is an international agreement for the promotion and the safeguarding of the world’s intangible heritage. 

In accordance to the Convention, a special focus is given to the « communities » which are in charge of transmitting this heritage along to the future generations. 

Its provisions have established two Lists:

  • the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity;
  • the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in need of Urgent Safeguarding

A third list, the Register of good safeguarding practices, was established in 2009 in order to foster the exchange of national experiences and procedures which may inspire other State Parties. 

The Representative List contains 508 elements, 9 of which are Italians: 

 

 

Which is the selection procedure for the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity?

 

In order to be inscribed on the Representative List, each element must abide by four criteria which are established by the Convention’s Operational Guidelines and be part of a national inventory.

Each Government is responsible for the choice of its national candidacies, together with its National Commission for UNESCO. The Convention has established an Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage which meets once a year and is in charge of examining State parties’ submissions.

For further details on the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, its bodies and lists, you may visit this page or this page of the website of the Italian National Commission for UNESCO.

 


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