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Intangible Heritage..

A lengthy quest for the function and values of cultural expressions and practices, and of monuments and sites, led by UNESCO, has paved the way for new approaches to understanding, protecting and respecting our cultural heritage.

System of IFA divination, Nigeria, © Wande Abimbola
These approaches, which involve the recognition of communities and groups as those who identify, enact, recreate and transmit the intangible or living heritage, found their culminating point in the adoption of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.


Intangible Heritage Traditional Popular Folk Culture Oral Tradition

Focus of the Year

The Intangible Heritage Messenger: Endangered languages
15 Sep 2006 - Special issue - September 2006 More

The Intangible Heritage Messenger
01 Aug 2006 - N°3 - August 2006 More

Grasping the intangible
01 May 2006 - May 2006 issue of The UNESCO Courier. More

The Intangible Heritage Messenger
12 Apr 2006 - N° 2 - April 2006 More

The Intangible Heritage Messenger
23 Feb 2006 - N° 1 - February 2006 More

MUSEUM International N°221-222
01 May 2004 - Views and Visions of the Intangible More


News 112 candidates for inscription on the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity
News Réunion d’information préparatoire à l’Assemblée des Etats Parties à la Convention de 2003


Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage to meet in Chengdu
22 May 2007 - The 24 members of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage are gathering for an extraordinary session from 23 to 27 May in Chengdu, China, at the invitation of the Chinese government. More

The Director-General inaugurates the Festival of the Chinese Intangible Cultural Heritage at UNESCO Headquarters
18 Apr 2007 - On Monday, 16 April 2007 Mr Koïchiro Matsuura opened the Festival of Chinese Intangible Cultural Heritage. The Festival was composed of an exhibition of 337 photos and about 80 objects as well as artistic and musical performances displaying and enacting some of China’s rich intangible cultural heritage. More

Director-General inaugurates an exhibition on Intangible Cultural Heritage at UNESCO Headquarters
13 Apr 2007 - On Thursday, 12 April 2007, Mr Koïchiro Matsuura inaugurated the photo exhibition entitled “Living Heritage: exploring the intangible”. The first of its kind organized on this subject, the exhibition comprises around one hundred photos illustrating the wealth and the diversity of humanity’s Intangible Cultural Heritage. They will be displayed on the fence surrounding UNESCO Headquarters from 12 April to 30 November 2007. More

Sauvegarde du patrimoine culturel au cœur de la visite officielle du Directeur général en Mauritanie
16 Jan 2007 - Le Directeur général de l’UNESCO, M. Koïchiro Matsuura, s’est rendu en visite officielle en République Islamique de Mauritanie du 9 au 11 janvier, afin de discuter avec les responsables du pays de la coopération engagée avec l’UNESCO dans les domaines de compétence de l’Organisation. Cette visite s’inscrivait notamment dans le contexte d’une cérémonie officielle de remise de prix à des « trésors humains vivants ». More

Other Events


Documents List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding

This List  is established in accordance with Article 17 of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. Its primary objective is to mobilize concerted efforts of various stakeholders in order to safeguard particularly endangered intangible cultural heritage.

It is part of the series "Publications of the Lists" devoted to the 2003 Convention.



Ms Françoise GIRARD
Programme Specialist More

Mr Ronan GRIPPAY Intangible Heritage Section
Documentalist More

Mr Cesar MORENO-TRIANA Intagible Heritage Section
Programme Specialist More

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