- Takes note that Italy has nominated Celebration of the Celestine Pardon (No. 00994) for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:
Each year in the last week of August, pilgrims travel to L’Aquila in Italy to celebrate the Celestine Pardon instituted by Pope Celestine V in the thirteenth century. A procession winds for 66 kilometres through the countryside to the town hall in L’Aquila. During this walk, pilgrims carry a flaming torch used to light a tripod at their destination, which burns throughout the whole festival. The celebration gives rise to a rich programme of religious and cultural activities, sports and games. The height of the festival is the Historical Procession on 28 August, which transports the historic Celestine Scroll from the town hall to the courtyard of the Basilica of Collemaggio where it is read aloud by the mayor. The Holy Door of the Basilica is then opened and penitent pilgrims who pass through obtain a spiritual pardon. This launches the jubilee celebrations, which continue until the evening of the following day. Thousands of people take part, thus emphasizing the values of solidarity and social integration embedded in the Celestine Pardon. Knowledge transmission is based on oral tradition through stories told at home, school and in public, and through spontaneous participation in the festival and ceremonies.
- Decides that, from the information included in the file, the nomination satisfies the following criteria:
R.1: Transmitted formally and non-formally for generations, the Celebration of the Celestine Pardon constitutes a symbol of reconciliation, social cohesion and integration for the inhabitants of L’Aquila and the Abruzzo region, providing them with a sense of shared identity and centuries-long continuity;
R.3: Although the safeguarding measures strive towards historically accurate restoration and/or revitalization of the element, the approach also attends to today’s cultural meanings and social functions, including playful and artistic activities; more importantly, it is clearly demonstrated that the concerned communities have played a substantial role in the design of the proposed measures and will do so during their implementation;
R.4: A number of associations and municipalities were actively involved in the nomination process and provided their free, prior and informed consent, confirming also their commitment to the preservation of the element;
R.5: Although the submitting State made available a very brief extract of the inventory, in which the nominated element is included, the information provided is sufficient to assess the conformity of the inventorying process with Articles 11 and 12 of the Convention.
- Further decides that the information included in the file is not sufficient to allow the Committee to determine whether the following criterion is satisfied:
R.2: Apart from fostering appreciation of traditions that are rooted in the past and a reference to solidarity and tolerance, the hoped-for consequences of the inscription pertain only to enhanced recognition for L’Aquila and its communities, while the nomination lacks specificity and clarity concerning the encouragement of dialogue and promotion of respect for cultural diversity and human creativity.
- Decides to refer the nomination of Celebration of the Celestine Pardon to the State Party for additional information and invites it to resubmit the nomination to the Committee for examination during a following cycle;
- Commends the State Party for the accompanying video that provides an informative portrayal of the element and its community.