AFP / Tiziana FABI
Naples’ art of pizza twirling has joined UNESCO’s list of ‘intangible heritage’
Naples’ pizza twirling joined UNESCO’s list of “intangible heritage” Thursday, securing the coveted status alongside a host of cultural treasures in Saudi art form traditionally practiced only by women. The art of ‘pizzaiuolo’ – which has been handed over for generations in the southern Italian city – was given the nod by the UN cultural body ‘s World Heritage Committee, who put on the South Korean island of Jeju.
It comes after some two million people signed a petition to support Naples’ application, according to Sergio Miccu, head of the Association of Neapolitan Pizzaiuoli – no doubt buoyed by his offer of complimentary pizza if the age-old culinary tradition joined the loving list . “Miccu soon told AFP. The custom goes beyond the pizzaiuolo’s spectacular handling of the dough – it’s all about the oxygenate it-to include songs and stories that have turned pizza-making into a time-honored social ritual. “Victory!” Maurizio Martina, Italy’s minister for agriculture, food and forestry, wrote on Twitter. “Another step towards the protection of Italy’s food and wine heritage.” In a statement, Martina said the recognition came after a years-long campaign. “The art of the pizza-maker Neapolitan contains Italian know-how … especially traditional knowledge that has been transmitted from generation to generation,” he said. Alfonso Pecoraro Scanio, to train agriculture minister who attended the proceedings in Jeju, said in a video posted on Twitter: “Long live the art of Neapolitan pizzaiuolo!” The pizza’s humble ancestor, a plain affair, usually gets underway, said emerging as a cheap, said historian Antonio Mattozzi. But despite being one of the first, Mattozzi told AFP. It took Queen Margherita’s love of the classic tomato, mozzarella and basil version to the imagination and taste buds of diners far and wide – at least that is how the story goes. Hoping to win the hearts of the commoners, the Italian queen asked in 1889 to try their favorite dish. And while she was unconvinced by anchovy and parmesan-topped versions, the basil delight won her over. – Saving tradition – Thirty-four candidates were introduced to UNESCO’s list of intangible heritage, created in 2003 mainly to raise awareness, and also to promote their traditions. The list is now more than 350 traditions, art forms and practices from Spain’s flamenco dancing to Indonesian batik fabrics, to more obscure entries such as a Turkish oil wrestling festival and the Mongolian coaxing ritual for camels. Saudi Arabia was among those celebrating on Jeju, claiming the tag for Al-Qatt Al-Asin – elaborate interior wall paintings traditionally done by women. The art, which promotes solidarity among women, is handed down through observation. Shiva Pati, an intricate weaving craft using strips of green cane to produce mats and bedspreads. Another winner is the traditional horseback game of Kok Boru in Kyrgyzstan, where players score points by putting a goat’s carcass in an opponent’s goal – though the dead animal is replaced with a mold in the modern-day version. An array of traditions struggling to survive will also be given special support after being placed on an “urgent” list. These include a mobile phone, mobile phone, mobile phone, mobile phone, mobile phone, mobile phone, mobile phone, and mobile phone. Morocco will also get help to protect Taskiwin – a martial dance that developed in the western High Atlas mountain ranges and involves shaking one’s shoulders to the rhythm of tambourines and flutes. UNESCO said globalization and young people’s rejection of traditional heritage had driven the practice “closer to oblivion”. burs-aph-amu / qan / aph
AFP / Tiziana FABI