Srinagar joins UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) with a special mention for craft and folk art

Srinagar joins Jaipur in the list of creative cities network of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for the crafts and folk arts category.

Jammu and Kashmir capital Srinagar city joins the list of creative cities network of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Srinagar is the only Indian city to make it to the 49 new cities list for its craft and folk art.

According to the report, the 49 cities were added to the network of 246 cities, following their designation by UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay in recognition of “their commitment to placing culture and creativity at the heart of their development and to sharing knowledge and good practices”.

Srinagar joins Jaipur in the list

Previously, Jaipur made it to the list of creative cites in the craft and folk art category. As per the release, there are now 295 cities reaching 90 countries that invest in culture and creativity – crafts and folk art, design, film, gastronomy, literature, media arts, and music – to advance sustainable urban development.

“A new urban model needs to be developed in every city, with its architects, town planners, landscapers and citizens. We are urging everyone to work with States to reinforce the international cooperation between cities which UNESCO wishes to promote,” UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay said.

Srinagar becomes the sixth Indian city to join the list. Earlier, Chennai and Varanasi – UNESCO Cities of music, Mumbai – UNESCO city of film, Jaipur – UNESCO City of crafts and folk arts and Hyderabad – UNESCO City of gastronomy had made to the list.

“I would like to offer my warm congratulations to India and especially to Srinagar. This a great recognition of the vitality of the arts and crafts sector in Srinagar,” Eric Falt, UNESCO New Delhi Director, said.

Srinagar joins UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) with a special mention for craft and folk art - Digpu News
Dal Lake (Aman Aggarwal/Getty Images)

The selection process began in 2018

This selection process began in 2018. However, the nomination was then rejected. “This year dossier preparation began in real earnest and the application was submitted to the Indian government, who then forwarded it to the UNESCO on June 29,” said Mahmood Ahmad Shah, director of Handloom and Handicrafts Kashmir. “I am glad to announce that Srinagar has been nominated. This nomination is the global recognition to the rich craft legacy of Srinagar,” he added.

Mayor Junaid Azim Mattu tweeted — The successful dossier that made it to the @UNESCO ‘Creative Cities Network’ was made exclusively by a dedicated team from SMC in coordination with INTACH Kashmir this year.

Prime Narendra Modi had also congratulated the people of Kashmir in his tweet. He tweeted — It is fitting recognition for the vibrant cultural ethos of Srinagar. Congratulations to the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha has said that it is the ultimate recognition for artisans and weavers of J&K.

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