Monday, 3 September 2018

Czech raftsmen seek their craft's UNESCO listing

ČTK |
1 March 2018

Prague, Feb 28 (CTK) - Raftsmen from the Vltava River, whose craft newly enjoys the Czech traditional folk culture status, want it also to be put on the UNESCO list of intangible cultural heritage, a goal they seek together with the raftsmen's associations of Germany and Austria, Jaroslav Camplik said on Wednesday.

Camplik heads the Vltavan Bohemia association of raftsmen.

"A joint application with the Germans and Austrians raises our chances," Camplik told CTK.

A condition for a traditional folk custom or activity to be UNESCO-listed is that it still be "surviving."

"The timber rafting has been long over, which is why it has been nominated based on its traditions," Zuzana Malcova, from the Culture Ministry, said.

Timber rafting had a long-lasting tradition in Bohemia, ranking among highly respected, recognised but also dangerous professions. The first historical mention of timber rafting on the Vltava (Moldau) River dates back to 1316, according to most sources.

Camplik said UNESCO-listing may facilitate raftsmen's access to various subsidies.

Last time, Czech puppetry entered the prestigious UNESCO list two years ago. The other Czech items on the list are the Slovacko verbunk folk dance, the Shrovetide masquerade processions and falconry.

As far as the UNESCO's list of world cultural heritage is concerned, a total of 12 Czech sites figure on it, but the last of them, the synagogue and the Jewish quarter in Trebic, south Moravia, was put on it as long as 15 years ago.

At present, the closest to entry is the north Bohemian town Zatec as a hops-growing centre.

Prague has submitted its last two nominations for intangible cultural heritage UNESCO-listing last year. They are a multinational nomination of the hand-made blueprint technology and the hand production of glass beaded Christmas decorations.

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