Decisión del Comité intergubernamental: 14.COM 10.B.33

The Committee,

  1. Takes note that Slovakia has nominated Drotárstvo, wire craft and art (No. 01478) for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:

Drotárstvo, wire craft and art refers to the technique of manufacturing using wire. In the 18th century, wire craftsmen discovered the interesting properties of wire and developed a simple technique based on manual bending, binding and interlacing metal fibers without welding or soldering, a technique still used to this day. Initially, wire art and craft was a complementary task performed by labourers to repair ceramics and cookware and produce and sell simple wire tools. In the 19th century, the practice became an autonomous craft, and since the 20th century, wire craftspeople have used wire to produce tools for daily use and art objects. As in the past, they react flexibly to the demands of the local market and enrich the traditional collection with new goods or art objects. The current range of materials also includes new types of wire used in unusual combinations with other previously unknown materials. Currently, the bearers and practitioners work mainly at the artistic level, selling their art products at various fairs, festivals, etc. Some practitioners come from families with a multi-generational tradition of transmitting these related skills, and there are also voluntary craft associations and clubs. The current practice develops old traditions and techniques to create new, beautiful forms, demonstrating its continued viability and respect for the old wire craftsmen.

  1. Considers that, from the information included in the file, the nomination satisfies the following criteria for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:

R.1:   Drotárstvo, wire craft and art plays an important role in the everyday lives of the individuals and families involved. It also serves as an identity marker of the Drotária population and to some extent as a symbol of Slovak national identity. Indeed, utility objects made of wire can be found in many Slovak households. Moreover, the community sees it as an example of converting the disadvantage of a poor region and simple craft into an advantage or ability to build on the artistic value and beauty of wire products.

R.2:   Drotárstvo is a widely practised form of traditional craftsmanship in Central Europe and its inscription could promote programmes directed at the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage in the whole region. Moreover, Drotárstvo is a widely known, identity-building practice with which not only experts but also the general public are familiar, which could increase the impact of its inscription. It is an excellent example of an inclusive element of intangible cultural heritage that could serve as a global example in this regard.

R.3:   The aim of the proposed safeguarding measures is to support the bearers of the element, continue with the research into and documentation of the element and monitor its situation. The measures also take into account the concerns regarding the possible over-commercialization of the practice following its inscription and were planned during regular meetings of the bearers in a bottom-up process.

R.4:   The participation of the communities, groups and individuals concerned in the nomination process was ensured through the involvement of bearers, laypersons and academic researchers, clubs (communities), the Považie Museum in Žilina, museums dealing with wire art and craft, representatives of the most important municipalities and towns within the wire-craft region, as well as representatives of the community of bearers of the wire art and craft and the staff responsible for the implementation of the Convention in Slovakia. This large group of individuals, institutes as well as local governing bodies (artisans, guilds of craftspersons, municipalities, museums and non-governmental organizations) were involved in preparing the nomination and provided their expressions of consent, mostly in personalized forms.

R.5:   Drotárstvo was included on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Slovakia in 2017. The Intangible Cultural Heritage Centre is the body responsible for maintaining and updating the inventory. The Representative List of Slovakia is updated annually and the implementation of safeguarding measures of all the listed elements is evaluated on a regular basis with the active participation of the communities themselves, especially the bearers.

  1. Decides to inscribe Drotárstvo, wire craft and art on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.