The marble masters of the Cycladic island of Tinos and their craft are now part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity following a decision on Wednesday, by the UNESCO committee which met for its 10th session in Namibia this week.
In efforts to ensure the better protection and awareness of significant cultural heritage worldwide, UNESCO identifies habits, customs and practices which as testimonies of diversity are an essential component and the world’s legacy.
The Greek island of Tinos has for generations served as the “breeding ground” of talented marble-smiths. Home to some of the country’s most celebrated masters including Yannoulis Halepas, Dimitris Filippotis and George Vidalis, Tinos continues to this day to serve as an inspiration to future generations through its Preparatory and Professional School of Fine Arts in Pirgos as well as its Museum of Marble Crafts.
Of the 35 candidates vying this year, 23 were selected, including among others Austria’s classical horsemanship, Azerbaijan’s Lahij copper craftsmanship, Bulgaria’s Surova folk feast, the tugging rituals and games of Cambodia, Philippines, Republic of Korea and Viet Nam, Colombia and Ecuador’s marimba music, traditional chants and dances, Ethiopia’s Fichee-Chambalaalla New Year festival, Slovakia’s bagpipe culture and Turkmenistan’s epic art of Gorogly.