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Macron wants UNESCO status for French baguette

Darko Janjevic with AFP
January 13, 2018

France's Emmanuel Macron has joined the nation's bakers in calling for the baguette to be included on UNESCO's "intangible heritage" list. The traditional bread is "envied around the world," the president said.

French football fans hold up baguettes before a football game with Spain
Image: picture alliance/dpa/P. Lux

The iconic French bread should be recognized by UNESCO as one of the world's cultural treasures and listed as "intangible heritage," France's President Emmanuel Macron said Friday.

Read more: Vive la baguette — from a drive-through

Macron voiced his support for the baguette's UNESCO bid while meeting representatives of the national confederation of baking and pastry at the Elysee presidential palace in Paris. The bakers launched the idea after UNESCO assigned the "intangible heritage" status to the special method of dough twirling practiced by pizza makers in Naples.

Read more: Pizza makes UNESCO 'intangible heritage' list

Macron said the baguette was "part of daily life in France," and that registering it with UNESCO would also include the ingredients and the method of making it, according to the French Europe1 radio station.

"I know our bakers, they saw the Neapolitans succeed in getting their pizza classified under UNESCO world heritage, and they said why not the baguette — and they are right!" Macron said.

Naples pizza takes the prize

'We must preserve its excellence'

The baguette is a crusty, long loaf of bread that serves as one of the most recognizable symbols of the nation's culture, alongside the Eiffel Tower. Macron described it as a "morning, midday and evening tradition for the French."

"The baguette is envied around the world. We must preserve its excellence and our expertise, and it is for this reason that it should be heritage-listed," he told the group of master bakers during the meeting.

The twirling of pizza dough made the UNESCO list in December, after 2 million people around the world signed the petition for its inclusion.