Living Human Treasures: a former programme of UNESCO

The “Maître d’art” Pierre Meyer, turner of figures on ivory, with an apprentice
© Alexis Lecomte, Ministère de la Culture - France

Set up in 1993 and discontinued when the 2003 Convention entered into force, the Living Human Treasures programme aimed at encouraging Member States to grant official recognition to talented tradition bearers and practitioners, thus contributing to the transmission of their knowledge and skills to the younger generations. States selected such persons on the basis of their accomplishments and of their willingness to convey their knowledge and skills to others. The selection was also based on the value of the traditions and expressions concerned as a testimony of the human creative genius, their roots in cultural and social traditions, their representative character for a given community, as well as their risk of disappearance.