UNESCO cultural heritage list swells to 229

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The Independent Travel

The UN now considers more than 200 cultural practices from all over the world as "intangible" world treasures after adding 51 candidates to its list, officials said Wednesday.

The United Nations cultural organisation UNESCO added four practices to a list of traditions in need of urgent protection during an inter-governmental committee meeting this week in Nairobi.

Another 47 were added to a non-urgent list, adding up to a total of 229 practices now on the Convention of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

The inter-governmental committee ultimately accepted all the dossiers proposed for the UNESCO heritage list, including the last item - Armenia cross-stones art - which received the green light on Wednesday.

The "world intangible heritage" list, which until this week numbered 178 cultural practices, was drawn up under a 2003 convention, now ratified by 132 countries.

A UNESCO fund delivers grants to help developing countries finance the protection of cultural practices in much the same way that the UN body protects sites of cultural value or great natural beauty.

Practices added this weekend include Spain's flamenco dance, French and Mexican cuisine, China's Peking opera and falconry in 11 countries.

Those approved as in need of urgent protection included Croatian Ojkanje singing and Meshrep, the harvest festival ceremony of northwest China's Turkish-speaking Muslim Uighur people.

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