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Czech Republic seeks UNESCO listing of Žatec as hops town

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Prague, Jan 14 (CTK) – The Czech Culture Ministry will send the nomination of Zatec, north Bohemia, as the town of hops for listing among the world heritage to the UNESCO committee by February 1, ministry spokeswoman Simona Cigankova has told CTK.

After the nomination is assessed by experts and possibly completed by the Czech state, it might be debated at a session in the summer of 2018, but it is not sure yet, she added.

A total of 12 Czech monuments have entered the UNESCO list of world heritage so far, the last one in 2003. Apart from real estate, five Czech items are on the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage. The Czech and Slovak puppetry entered the list most recently, last December.

In the number of the UNESCO entries, the Czech Republic is among the first 30 countries. Despite that, Prague plans to nominate some 20 other sights, while Zatec is the first of them.

The town, which prides itself on many sights connected with hops growing, has tried to enter the UNESCO list for several years.

“The nomination includes the whole area of hops growing history. Such a number of buildings connected with hops per square kilometer is nowhere else in the world,” Zatec deputy Mayor Jaroslav Spicka told CTK.

The 100-year history of hops growing and processing is reflected in many buildings, including storehouses, drying kilns, packing halls and hops stamping stations, in Zatac, which gradually developed into one of the world’s most important centres of hops processing and trading.

Zatec expects its possible UNESCO entry to attract more tourists to the locality and enable to draw supranational subsidies for the reconstruction of its heritage sights.

The nomination must be submitted to the UNESCO committee by February 1, 2017. It will be delivered to Paris through diplomatic channels by this date, Cigankova said.

The UNESCO secretariat and the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) will assess the Czech application this year. A UNESCO delegation is likely to visit Zatec as well.

The deadlines for other nominations with a Czech participation are not known, Cigankova added.

In this connection, the joint Czech-German nomination of the Ore Mountains area and the Czech-Slovak nomination of the sights from the 9th century Great Moravia Empire have been mentioned most often.

Saxony withdrew its application for the Ore Mountains nomination last year, after an agreement with Czechs, to rewrite it. It might be submitted in early 2018.

Besides, an extensive multinational nomination of European spa towns, including Czech ones in west Bohemia, was taken into consideration. Since this project is very complex, it is not sure when the nomination is completed, the ministry says.

The Czech monuments that have entered the UNESCO list of world heritage are situated in nine of the country’s 14 regions.

The first ones were the historical centres of Prague, Cesky Krumlov, south Bohemia, and Telc, south Moravia, all listed in 1992, followed by the Renaissance chateau in Litomysl, east Bohemia, the south Bohemian village of Holasovice, the chateau and gardens in Kromeriz, south Moravia, the centre of Kutna Hora together with St Barbara Cathedral, central Bohemia, the pilgrim church of St John Nepomucen at Zelena hora at Zdar nad Sazavou, south Moravia, the chateau and garden complex of Lednice and Valtice, south Moravia, the Trinity baroque column in Olomouc, north Moravia, the villa Tugendhat in Brno, south Moravia, listed in 2001 and the Jewish Town and St Prokopius Basilica in Trebic, south Moravia, in 2003.

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