United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to declare local lace cultural heritage
Nicosia, Aug 18 – Local hand-made lace, known as lefkaritiko, indigenous to the village of Lefkara, in Larnaca district, will be declared UNESCO cultural heritage in September.
Andreas Soseilos, the Mayor of Lefkara, told the Cyprus News Agency that the relevant UNESCO committee has already decided to include lefkaritiko in the untouchable heritage of the world, a parallel category to the monuments list of UNESCO.
The decision will be announced at the UNESCO General Assembly next month. The request to include lefkaritiko needlework was made one and a half years ago by the Ministry of Education and Culture of the Republic of Cyprus in cooperation with the Lefkara Municipality.
An extensive study was carried out before the submission of the application, sponsored by the Ministry, regarding the financial, social and historical influence of the art of hand-made lace to the local community, the Mayor said.
The tradition of making embroideries in Lefkara goes back many centuries, he remarked, adding that around 1480, Leonardo Da Vinci, visited Lefkara and took one of the embroideries to the Cathedral in Milan. The original was damaged and it was replaced by another one with the same “Da Vinci design” fifteen years ago.
The UNESCO decision will facilitate the submission of proposals to back the action plan of the Municipality to ensure the continuation of production and the promotion of lefkaritiko lace, the Mayor added.
“We would like to establish a foundation to operate independently of the Municipality, which will run a school of embroidery to train women in the art of lefkaritiko lace,” he explained. The proposed foundation, he added, should include an exhibition hall in addition to having touring exhibitions which can present the art of lefkaritiko in various European cities.