Belarus preparing several files for inclusion in UNESCO cultural heritage lists


Belarus is preparing several nomination files for inclusion into the UNESCO intangible cultural heritage lists, Alla Stashkevich, Head of the Cultural Heritage Department at the Institute of Culture of Belarus, said at the roundtable hosted by BelTA's press center on 27 July.

“We are working on two files for the inclusion in the list of intangible cultural heritage in need of urgent safeguarding. These are the ancient rite Yurievsky Khorovod (Yuriev Round Dance) and on forest beekeeping, a joint project with Poland,” she informed.

According to the expert, the rite Yurievsky Khorovod should be included in the cultural heritage list for many reasons. Firstly, the village itself in Turov District where it all happens is really unique. Secondly, the village is small, the population is aging, migrating. Thus there is a need to support this element of the country's cultural heritage,” Alla Stashkevich said.

“We have started working on the second project Forest Beekeeping together with Poland's National Heritage Board and their national commission. Negotiations are underway, active work will commence soon. I think that in the autumn we will hold a workshop in Belarus, and will prepare this multinational file by 31 March 2018. It is worth noting that the UNESCO Commission reviews multinational files much faster,” said the expert.

“The Culture Ministry is involved in this work financially too,” said Natalia Khvir, the head of the historical and cultural heritage office of the department for historical and cultural heritage protection of the Belarusian Culture Ministry. “For example, this year the ministry will finance a project to make a film about the Yurievsky Khorovod, which is one of the elements of a nomination file. The process of collecting materials is fairly lengthy. It includes the preparation of dossiers, translation and making a film. We expect that in 2019 the UNESCO commission will review two Belarusian files: the multinational one Forest Beekeeping and Yurievsky Khorovod file,” the official said.

In turn, Alla Stashkevich added that Belarus is also preparing a file on bagpipe culture. “We have prepared a draft national file. Slovakia submitted the Bagpipe Culture as a multinational file and invited us to join. Belarus already expressed its support in this regard,” she stated. We want to hold negotiations with the Slovak side regarding the financing of a joint film, she added.

Negotiations are also underway with the Ukrainian Center for Cultural Heritage on the development of joint files.

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