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Fujara considered for UNESCO list

A UNIQUE Slovak instrument, the fujara (a shepherd’s long pipe) is being considered for inclusion on UNESCO's World List of Non-Material Cultural Heritage, UNESCO Director-General Koichiro Matsuura confirmed on a recent visit to Slovakia, the TASR news agency reported.

Matsuura's wife was given the chance to play the pipe August 21 in Vlkolinec, a village near Žilina. Vlkolinec itself is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site.

"We currently have 60 candidates for the list [World List of Non-Material Cultural Heritage], among which is the Slovak shepherd's long pipe. I hope that this will be included," Matsuura told journalists. UNESCO convention members will vote on the objects in mid-November.

The protection and promotion of non-material cultural heritage is very topical at the moment, said Foreign Affairs Minister Eduard Kukan, after meeting Matsuura on August 22. "It is through this list that we want our shepherd's long pipe to speak and become accessible to the world," he said.

A second Slovak candidate for the list is the work of composer Béla Bartók.

Compiled by Magdalena MacLeod from press reports
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