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Naples Pizza 'Artists' Heralded in UNESCO's List of 'Intangible Heritage'

Naples Pizza 'Artists' Heralded in UNESCO's List of 'Intangible Heritage'

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has included the Armenian Kochari traditional group dance in its list of intangible cultural heritage at the twelfth session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage taking place in Jeju Island, Republic of Korea.

Pizza purists in Italy were on Thursday celebrating a victory over the kind of culinary piracy that has seen their national dish tarnished with prawns and pineapple as Unesco made a decision to add the Neapolitan art of making pizza to its list of "intangible heritage".

"We'll be giving out free pizza in the streets", 'za czar Sergio Miccu told AFP.

"Victory!" tweeted Italy's minister for agriculture, food and forestry, Maurizio Martina.

Today, following a petition to support Naples' application which was signed by an estimated 2 million people, UNESCO has named Naples' famous pizza twirling an essential component of the world's "intangible heritage". "Another step towards the protection of Italy's food and wine heritage".

Thirty-four candidates were seeking to join the list of intangible heritage, created in 2003 mainly to raise awareness, although UNESCO also sometimes offers financial or technical support to countries struggling to protect their traditions.

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Countries celebrating the accolade alongside Italy include Saudi Arabia for "Al-Qatt Al-Asin", a style of wall painting traditionally created by women, and the Netherlands, which was recognized for the "art" of operating windmills and watermills, among others.

Iran nominated Chogan, a horse-riding game accompanied by music and storytelling, while Bangladesh submitted its traditional art of Shital Pati weaving of Sylhet.

The first recorded game of polo, in which players on horseback score by driving a small ball into the opposing team's goal using a long-handled wooden mallet, reportedly took place in 600 BC in ancient Persia.

These include a whistled language that developed in Turkey as a way to communicate across steep mountains and rugged topography but is now being threatened by mobile phones.

UNESCO said globalisation and young people's rejection of traditional heritage had driven the practice "closer to oblivion".

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