The Malta Independent 22 July 2024, Monday
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Maltese Festa recognised as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO

Wednesday, 6 December 2023, 09:52 Last update: about 9 months ago

The Maltese Festa (feast) has officially been recognised as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.

An intangible cultural heritage is a practice, representation, expression, knowledge, or skill considered by UNESCO to be part of a place's cultural heritage.

National Heritage Minister Owen Bonnici said on X (formally known as Twitter), that this is 'big news for Malta's cultural scene'.

A statement issued by his ministry said that: "This approval was granted during the 18th Session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, currently taking place in Botswana. The Maltese Festa was recognised for its community values, promotion of the arts, and inclusivity."

Minister Bonnici expressed gratitude to the Malta Band Clubs Association for its involvement in securing this significant recognition. He also acknowledged the efforts of the Culture Directorate, especially the Office for Intangible Cultural Heritage, Professor Baldacchino, the Archdiocese of Malta, and all those who contributed to making this achievement possible.

"This is the third element registered for Malta, following the Ftira and Għana. The Government is committed to continuing to cherish and promote the Maltese Feast as a community celebration that fosters artistic values, inclusion, and community spirit," Minister Bonnici said.

The application for the Maltese festa was submitted by the Malta Band Clubs Association, receiving strong support from the Maltese Curia and local feast communities, the government statement read. "The application was submitted to UNESCO in 2021, and the process was overseen by the Office for Intangible Cultural Heritage within the Culture Directorate, led by expert Jean Paul Baldacchino, a professor of Anthropology at the University of Malta."

In November, the Technical Committee responsible for reviewing applications for UNESCO recognition as intangible heritage, recommended that the Maltese Feast be inscribed on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

"In its recommendation, the Technical Committee praised the exemplary manner in which the application was presented, as well as the audio-visual production accompanying it, selected as one of the best practices for such applications," the statement read. 





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