Korea gets a seat on Unesco committee

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Korea gets a seat on Unesco committee

Korea was elected to be a member of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, a Unesco body that determines the intangible cultural heritage items it recognizes.

Among five countries eligible for four spots open to Asia-Pacific countries from 2014 to 2018, Korea received the most votes with 126. India, Mongolia and Afghanistan also earned seats, while Turkey got a spot reserved for European countries.

In total, the committee elected 12 countries to be members Wednesday and they will work with 12 countries that have been on the committee since 2012. The 24-member committee elects 12 countries every two years.

This is not the first time Korea has been on the committee. It first became a member in 2008 for a four-year term. No country is allowed to serve consecutive terms.

“It seems that Korea has been appreciated for its efforts to help other developing countries protect and preserve their intangible heritage, and to make the committee stand out in what it does,” said the Cultural Heritage Administration of Korea.

It also expects Korea’s membership on the committee will benefit the country in promoting its own intangible cultural heritage items, including “Nongak,” a form of music, dance and rituals that will be considered for the Unesco list in November.

Korea is also working to have juldarigi, a traditional rope-tugging game, recognized in 2015.

Korea has 16 items on the intangible cultural heritage list, following China with 38 items and Japan with 22.

BY LEE SUN-MIN [summerlee@joongang.co.kr]

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