Pizza and organ music up for UNESCO Intangible Heritage recognition | Culture| Arts, music and lifestyle reporting from Germany | DW | 04.12.2017
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Pizza and organ music up for UNESCO Intangible Heritage recognition

Nominees for additions to the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list in 2017 include the baking tradition surrounding Napoli pizza and Germany's organ music.

Everybody loves a pizza pie. At least that's what Italy believes as they submit their country's nominee for recognition by UNESCO as an intangible heritage good in the latest round of applications. It's not just the pizza itself but the Neapolitan baking tradition that goes along with it — including songs and stories that are handed down over generations — that Italians believe are in need of protection.

Pizza is just one of 23 traditions that are currently up for debate during the annual meeting of the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage organization. Meeting on the South Korean island of Jeju, delegates from 24 countries will decide which cultural traditions should be added to a list already 360 entries long.

The unique organ sound

Among them is Germany's entry: the organ, both the instrument itself and the music composed for it. "With around 50,000 organs across the country, Germany has the largest concentration of organs in the world," said the German UNESCO Commission.

St Marienkirche Stralsund (picture alliance/DUMONT Bildarchiv/J. Scheibner)

The impressive Baroque organ (1659) designed by Friedrich Stellwagen at St. Mary's Church in Stralsund

"Every organ is unique because it has been constructed individually to adapt to the architectural room in which its sounds will be heard," said Christoph Wulf, vice president of the commission.

The organ construction industry includes over 400 firms with nearly 2,800 employees. German composers have also long written pieces to be played specifically on the organ.

Germany joined the organization comprised of 170 member nations in 2013. Its entry this year was taken from Germany's national list of 68 cultural goods, which also includes midwifery and bread baking. If selected, organ craftsmanship would join just two other traditions from Germany on the international list: the concept of cooperatives and falconry (part of a multi-national entry).

Whether pizza or organs will be included on the official UNESCO Intangible Heritage list will be decided by December 9, 2017.

ct/eg (AFP, dpa)


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