Naples' pizza-making is now part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity UNESCO list.
The Neapolitan art of pizza-making joins the few other Italian traditions included in the prestigious list in previous years, such as the opera dei pupi (Sicilian puppet theatre) and the canto a tenore (Sardinian pastoral songs).
At the end of a long campaign, the announcement that many pizza-lovers were hoping for has finally come.
The former Italian Minister of Agriculture, Alfonso Pecorario Scanio, a historic supporter of the initiative, was in South Korea to attend the ceremony. SBS Italian contacted him minutes after the announcement.
“We are very proud for this victory. We got a very big result and we have to thank over two million people that signed the UNESCO petition, also in Australia ... The art of the Neapolitan pizza maker is now part of the World’s Intangible Heritage of UNESCO and we organised the biggest campaign in the history of UNESCO because we had two million signatures ... Thanks also to our Australian supporters and I’m sure I will be again soon in Australia.”
The meeting of UNESCO's Intergovernmental Committee, tasked with preserving intangible cultural heritage, is being held in South Korea. Among the traditions inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, there are also Kok boru, a traditional horse game from Nsima, a culinary tradition of Malawi., and
The art of Neapolitan pizza-making was Italy's sole contender to join UNESCO's World Heritage List for the year of 2017. It has been chosen because "it represents Italy all over the world."
Two million signatures were collected for a petition asking the United Nations' cultural division to give Neapolitan pizza its official World Heritage status. The campaign promoted by former Italian Minister Alfonso Pecoraro Scanio has gathered attention and support all over the world.
In an interview with SBS Italian in April 2016, Minister Pecoraro Scanio said the bid also received widespread support and “signatures in all the world capitals, from Argentina to Japan."
He also explained that "it initially obtained the support of pizzaioli (pizza-makers), of the Italian agricultural organisation Coldiretti and of Federazione Italiana Cuochi (Italian Cooks’ Federation)."
The list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity offers UNESCO protection to cultural practices and traditions that "help demonstrate the diversity of [cultural] heritage and raise awareness about its importance."