Introduction

Authored by: Michelle L. Stefano , Peter Davis

The Routledge Companion to Intangible Cultural Heritage

Print publication date:  December  2016
Online publication date:  December  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138860551
eBook ISBN: 9781315716404
Adobe ISBN: 9781317506898

10.4324/9781315716404.ch101

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Abstract

The year 2016 marked the tenth anniversary of when the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) officially entered into force, and much has happened since. Most notably, of course, is the widespread acceptance of this international instrument at national levels; currently, 170 States Parties have adopted and/or ratified it from 2004 onwards. 1 Additionally, 336 ICH ‘elements’ have been inscribed in the corresponding Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, with an average of 28 ICH forms successfully nominated each year since 2010. 2 It is also true that the past decade has seen an incredible growth of conferences, symposia, workshops and field schools that have brought together diverse groups of people who research and seek to understand and safeguard intangible cultural heritage (ICH) at different levels – from the international to the local. 3 The debates and discussions that have resulted are vital, evolving and full of passion, much like ICH itself.

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