Talavera ceramics, Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

Unesco has decided to include in the list of Intangible Heritage of Humanity the international candidacy shared by the Talavera style ceramics of Talavera de la Reina and Puente del Arzobispo and those of Puebla and Tlaxcala (Mexico). It is the recognition of a tradition that has been established for six centuries and still has more than 40 workshops active in the two localities of Toledo. The inclusion in the list implies the protection of an artisanal activity that has perpetuated the original technical and creative processes (with the exception of electricity in furnaces and lathes).

Ceramics have not had it easy, because Italy and Austria have put “very difficult” their inclusion in the prestigious category. According to Arancha Camacho, from the Tierras de Cerámica association, diplomacy between countries has become tense when Spain has not supported the international candidacy of transhumance, formed by Italy, Austria and Greece (although it has been registered). Tierras de Cerámica is an association of residents of Talavera, who six years ago decided to start the road they have culminated today. “This recognition will allow safeguard measures to be taken, such as strengthening the generational change,” they explain from the association.

For José Guirao, Minister of Culture and Sports, “this handmade process of making ceramics deserves the declaration recognized today by UNESCO”. In addition, he points out that it is these ceramics are a national and international reference. “For the first time, Unesco’s list explicitly recognizes the strong cultural link that unites Latin America with Spain and helps boost international cooperation among Spanish-speaking nations around the Intangible Cultural Heritage,” said the minister.

The Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity has 429 registered, to which we must add those elected this Wednesday in Bogotá, during the celebration of the XIV Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Unesco. The “immaterial” category refers to the identity (and intangible) aspects that represent and claim a town and Spain has 19 inscribed landmarks, including the Mediterranean diet, the fiesta of the courtyards of Córdoba, flamenco, the Fallas, the whistle Gomero or the mystery of Elche. In 2018 the dry stone architecture of the Mediterranean and the tamborradas were inscribed.