Nomination confirmed - Melted together!

The knowledge, craft and skills involved in handmade glass production have been entered into the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. A total of six countries have prepared and submitted a joint nomination.

The registration was decided on 6 December at the 18th session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of UNESCO in Botswana. It includes glassmakers from Germany, France, Spain, Finland, Hungary and the Czech Republic.

“We are delighted that the nomination was recommended for inclusion by the evaluation body as a good example of the positive role museums play in efforts to protect this element. In most countries, it was museums that were the main compilers of the nomination documentation,” said Milada Valečková, Director of the Museum of Glass and Jewellery in Jablonec nad Nisou. “In our country, the Ministry of Culture entrusted the Jablonec Museum with the task of drafting the nomination, as the only state-established institution with national competence in this field.”

The main initiators of the nomination were France and Germany, who originally intended to list only metallurgical glass blowing and the production of flat glass from hollow cylinders. Thanks to the efforts of the Jablonec Museum, their proposal was significantly expanded to include glass processing at the flame, as well as all cold techniques. Thus, the producers of blown or drawn figurines, engravers, glass cutters and painters, as well as producers of Christmas decorations, pressed jewellery stones or finished jewellery can also celebrate. “A significant part of this success is due to our museum's chief curator Petr Nový and his advocacy skills,” added Valečková. “Our thanks for their significant help and support go to Eva Kumínková, the Czech representative on the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of UNESCO, and Dita Lim, representative of the Ministry of Culture, as well as to colleagues from the other five countries and the entire glass community for their support and encouragement,” adds Nový.

How will registration benefit glassmakers?

Firstly, it will help spread awareness of this rich and vibrant tradition and the various glassmaking techniques. It will increase the social prestige of glass crafts. It will also stimulate dialogue between the communities of the participating countries and, last but not least, it will oblige countries to promote the preservation of handmade glass. “At the first meeting of the working group of nominating countries in Spain in October, we identified as our top priority the education of the population to distinguish quality handmade products from the standard range offered by supermarket chains. Of course, not everyone has the financial means to buy handmade glass, but almost everyone can occasionally bring joy to themselves or their loved ones with a beautiful and unusual glass gift,” says Valečková.

The Museum of Glass and Jewellery in Jablonec nad Nisou – The only one in the World!

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