Art

UNESCO lists Türkiye’s ‘Ahlat Stonework’ in need of urgent safeguarding

UNESCO lists Türkiye’s ‘Ahlat Stonework’ in need of urgent safeguarding

ANKARA (AA): As contenders for recognition as intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO were deliberated on Monday, Türkiye’s “Traditional Ahlat Stonework” technique has been added to the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage under the category of “in need of urgent safeguarding.”

“Our national nomination file of ‘Traditional Ahlat Stonework’ has been inscribed on the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding, during the 17th Session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, which is being held in Rabat, the capital of Morocco, between Nov. 28 and Dec. 3, 2022,” according to a Foreign Ministry statement.

The ministry noted that the number of the country’s cultural elements inscribed on the lists has reached 22.

“We will continue to raise awareness of our heirloom traditional arts in order to popularize and preserve them,” it added.

The “Traditional Ahlat Stonework” technique has been used for thousands of years to create artifacts and structures, particularly in the Ahlat district of eastern Bitlis province, which is located on the shore of Türkiye’s Lake Van.

Stone miners in Ahlat use the traditional method, which is based on muscle power, to extract Ahlat stones. Long metal sticks are used as a lever to move the mass of rock. Iron wedges are then hammered into the rock mass in a straight line and divided into smaller sizes.

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