The Art of Czech Glassmaking Set for UNESCO Recognition

Czech glassmakers, engravers, and cutters stand an excellent chance of being listed on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list. The decision on the inscription of handmade glass, a tradition maintained in certain Czech regions since the 13th century, will be made this Wednesday. An international committee based in Botswana, Africa, is responsible for this decision.

The nomination for this recognition has been a collaborative effort prepared by six countries, including the Czech Republic, France, Finland, Germany, Hungary, and Spain. They propose protecting the entire glass production process as a cultural heritage. This includes everything from the use of glass sand to the production of the raw material and all techniques for hand-processing glass.

Milada Valečková, the director of the Glass and Jewellery Museum in Jablonec nad Nisou, elaborated, “This means from glass sand to raw material production to all techniques of manual glass processing, including grinding, painting, or making wound beads.”

If the joint nomination is successful, the Czech Republic will have nine items on the prestigious list of intangible cultural heritage. Existing entries include the Masopust (Carnival), Slovácký verbuňk (a recruit dance), falconry, and the Ride of the Kings.

In 2020, blown Christmas ornaments from the Podkrkonoší region were added. Most recently, in the last year, rafting made it onto the list. Experts from the Jablonec Museum prepared the Czech part of the handmade glass nomination.

The Museum of Glass and Jewellery invites everyone to share this unique experience, with a live broadcast of the decision-making process available to watch this Wednesday afternoon. The museum clarified, “Our nomination should be discussed in the afternoon block, scheduled from 13:30 to 16:30.”