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Baguettes deserve 'heritage' status — Macron

14 Enero 2018

The Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage meets annually to evaluate nominations from around the world.

If the French government's quest proves successful, then baguette-making is poised to join the list of some 470 activities protected by the UNESCO, among them Kyrgyzstan's game of dead goat polo, Dutch windmills, Belgium's beer culture and Germany's organ craftsmanship.

The French baguette should be listed as a Unesco cultural treasure, says France's President Emmanuel Macron.

"I know our bakers, they saw that the Neapolitans managed to have pizza (classified) as (part of) world heritage, so they said, 'Why not the baguette?' And they're right", he said.

Artisan bread makers in France have often raised concerns about the rise of mass-produced imitations of their 'national treasure' tarnishing their traditions.

"Excellence and expertise must be preserved, and that is why it should be heritage-listed", President Macron told French radio after receiving a group of master bakers at the Elysée presidential palace in Paris on Friday.

Dominique Anract, president of the National Condederation of French Patisseries and Bakeries, told food website Atabula: "When I see the quality of bread in supermarkets, it is impossible not to get angry".

The baguette is part of the daily life of the French people, in the morning, midday and evening. To meet the criteria, the bread must only be made from four ingredients: wheat flour, water, yeast and salt.

While the traditional baguette was granted protected status in France in 1993, an addition to the UNESCO list would grant it protection from globalisation.

What is already on the list?

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The French President wants his country's iconic delicacy added to a UN list of "intangible heritage".

Unesco's Lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage is different from its register of places, which is known as World Heritage Sites, and lists the Forth Bridge as one. "There is no history of religion [associated with it]; everyone has it, and it has been part of our humanity since the beginning".

Maëlle Brun, the author of Brigitte Macron, l'Affranchie (The Unfettered Woman), interviewed a neighbour of the Macron family in Amiens, northeast France.

Baguettes deserve 'heritage' status — Macron