Latvia wants more things added to UNESCO world memory list

Latvia is requesting that two more items of its unique cultural heritage are recognized for inclusion in a UNESCO "Memory of the World" list.

Currently, the International Register has two objects from Latvia - The "Dainu skapis" collection of Daina poems compiled by folklorist Krišjanis Barons in the 19th century and documents relating to the Baltic Way events of 1989.

Latvia is also included along with Ukraine, Lithuania and Poland as being relevant to the Act of the Union of Lublin.

The list is updated every four years, and this time it is planned to add a collection of letters written in Siberia on birch bark, plus the drawings of Johann Christoph Brotze, who recorded the dress and customs of the local populations during the 18th and 19th centuries and a collection of wax cylinders from the early 20th century which provide a unique record of Latvian folk songs.

Also deemed worth of inclusion are hand-written prayers and sermons by members of the Moravian brotherhood or Herrnhuters, a protestant sect who were forced to copy their books by hand as a result of repression under Tsarist rule in the 18th century, explained Sarmīte Pulste, representative of the Latvian National Committee of UNESCO.

In addition, Latvia has entries on other lists such as the Intangible Heritage list (Suiti cultural space and Song Festival celebration)

According to UNESCO, the Memory of the World Program was established in 1992 from a growing awareness of the parlous state of preservation of, and access to, documentary heritage in various parts of the world.

You can find out more about Latvia in UNESCO HERE.

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