UNESCO endorses the new proposals which are both unconventional and address to traditional methods and knowledges, people’s production and know-how.
To this extent, UNESCO has launched a specific list, that of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, meaning “the practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills – as well as the instruments, objects, artefacts and cultural spaces associated therewith – that communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals recognize as part of their cultural heritage. This intangible cultural heritage, transmitted from generation to generation, is constantly recreated by communities and groups in response to their environment, their interaction with nature and their history, and provides them with a sense of identity and continuity, thus promoting respect for cultural diversity and human creativity.” (General provisions of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, art.2, paragraph 1)
The above definition fully applies to the Italian Cuisine in the world as a tradition which has been kept alive by the Chefs’ Forum of the Italian Cuisine in the world. The Italian Cuisine in the world is indeed a social custom and a cultural and artisan practice based on knowledges transmitted from generation to generation, schools and activities, based on tools, products, spaces dedicated to it, which the communities recognize as their cultural heritage and identity factor.
According to the Convention, the intangible cultural heritage is manifested inter alia in the following domains:
(a) oral traditions and expressions, including language as a vehicle of the intangible cultural heritage;
(b) performing arts;
(c) social practices, rituals and festive events;
(d) knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe;
(e) traditional craftsmanship.
The possibility of being successfully included in the list depends on the capacity to fulfil the existing conditions of the candidacy dossier and to demonstrate that the proposal contributes with innovative programs and solutions to the Convention’s advancement, with particular reference to management, protection and enhancement practices.
The candidacy benefits are directly connected to the way of proposing it, the idea behind the proposal and related programs and activities.
In this framework, an innovative Italian candidacy as that of the Italian Cuisine in the world, able to combine the prestige of the inclusion with a clear definition of the Organism for its protection and a program of actions, promotion and enhancement, is very important for our country and interesting for UNESCO itself.
Presidente ICOMOS Italia