Spanish “knot” and glass blowing to be officially protected?
The cultural landscape of the Ribeira Sacra (Ourense) is the latest candidate chosen by the Historic Heritage Council to be added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the Historic Heritage Council – chaired by the Director-General for Fine Arts, Román Fernández-Baca – with representatives of all regional governments. The Spanish candidature will be presented to the international body in February 2020, with the assessment on it inclusion to be made in 2021.
The Ribeira Sacra is the most westerly symbolic landscape of continental Europe. It lies in the Sil and del Miño valleys, and is home to a collection of hermitages, mo-nasteries, churches, chapels and crossing points which, due to their variety and profusion, form a cultural space unique in the world, providing an example of primitive lifestyle that existed towards the end of the fourth century.
The Historic Heritage Council also agreed to apply for ‘glass blowing’ and the ‘Spanish knot’ to be declared as Representative Manifesta-tions of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Spain. Two historic producers of blown glass representing this technique are the Centro Nacional del Vidrio de la Granja [La Granja National Glass Centre] in Segovia and Los Vidrios Gordiola in Majorca, although individual examples exist throughout the country in small artisan workshops, often associated with museums, which are trying to revive and showcase these production methods that were so characteristic of centres that no longer exist.
The report highlights the fact that these glass blowing centres have been producing continuously over the last three centuries. It also emphasised the variety of their products, which still include traditional designs alongside new de-signs of all shapes and sizes.
The Spanish knot is a traditional textile method which has been used on the Iberian Peninsula since the 16th century. Its origins can be traced back to the Spanish knotted-pile carpets although today there are very few craftsmen and women that command this technique. The Royal Tapestry Factory in Madrid is the only place that can provide training in this technique.