Neapolitan pizza wins UNESCO status (3)

Weltkulturerbe UNESCO- Italien Pizza aus Neapel

India's Kumbh Mela has been recognised by UNESCO as an "intangible cultural heritage of humanity", a tweet posted on Thursday by the global organisation said.

Rome, December - UNESCO said Thursday that the art of the Neapolitan "Pizzaiuolo" (pizza maker) has been put on its prestigious Intangible Cultural Heritage list.

Italy had argued the practice of pizzaiuolo - from preparing and flipping the pizza dough to baking it in a wood-fired oven - was part of the country's cultural and gastronomic tradition. "We'll be giving out free pizza in the streets", Miccu promised.

The event has its origins in Hindu mythology which tells how a few drops from a pitcher containing the nectar of immortality are said to have fallen during a fight between gods and demons on the four locations across India which host the festival-Allahabad, Nasik, Ujjain and Haridwar-every four years.

A pizza maker prepares a pizza at the pizzeria Sorbillo in Naples.

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The traditional Neapolitan pizza has two classic versions.

Dutch windmill
Traditional windmill operators in the Netherlands were also honored by UNESCO

One is the Margherita with tomato, mozzarella, oil and basil, which has the same red white and green colours as the Italian flag and is believed to have been named after Italy's Queen Margherita of Savoy. "A recognition for Naples and Italy as a whole", he added.

"We'll be giving out free pizza in the streets", Sergio Miccu, head of the Association of Neapolitan Pizzaiuoli, told the Agence France Presse after the United Nations decision, which highlighted the history of passing down the art through generations.

The list already includes some food traditions, including Turkish coffee culture and the gingerbread craft of northern Croatia.

In 2003, the UNESCO General Conference had adopted the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Heritage as an worldwide treaty, acknowledging that cultural heritage was more than tangible places, monuments and objects and that it also encompassed traditions and living expressions.

They were declining for reasons including the spread of technology and disdain for cultural practices among young people, Unesco said.

These include a whistled language that developed in Turkey as a way to communicate across steep mountains and rugged topography but is now being threatened by mobile phones.

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