Mandela files make it onto UNESCO culture list

20th June 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, June 20, 2007 (AFP) - Records from the trial of Nelson Mandela, a medieval French tapestry, a millennium-old Iranian epic and the Hollywood movie "The Wizard of Oz" are among 38 new items on a UNESCO cultural heritage list, the body said on Tuesday.

PARIS, June 20, 2007 (AFP) - Records from the trial of Nelson Mandela, a medieval French tapestry, a millennium-old Iranian epic and the Hollywood movie "The Wizard of Oz" are among 38 new items on a UNESCO cultural heritage list, the body said on Tuesday.

Official records of the trial of anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela, who was sentenced to life in prison, are to take place alongside such monuments as the Gutenberg Bible and archives of the Warsaw Ghetto on UNESCO's "Memory of the World Register".

Unpublished papers by the poet and separatist fighter Christopher Okigbo, who died in Nigeria's civil war in 1967, were also added to the list, founded by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation a decade ago and now counting 158 items. 

Countries with documents on the list can receive help to preserve them and produce digital copies to make them available across cultures and borders.

From Iran, UNESCO selected a copy of the "Book of Kings" by the poet Ferdowsi (941-1020), the equivalent of Homer's "Iliad" in the Persian-speaking world, that was transcribed in 1430 at the request of Prince Bayasanghor.

Thirty ancient manuscripts of the Rigveda, a sacred Hindu text, dating from 1800 to 1500 BC, were also added to the list as the oldest known Vedic texts or scriptures of the Hindu religion.

From China, the body added the Qing Dynasty Yangshi Lei Archives, a collection of blueprints for the construction of a series of imperial palaces over eight generations of the Lei Family, from the 17th to 20th centuries.

The printing woodblocks of the Tripitaka Koreana, carved on 81,258 wooden blocks between 1237 and 1248 and kept on Mount Kaya in South Korea, were chosen as the most complete collection of Buddhist texts.

France's Bayeux Tapestry, a 70-metre (230-foot) long 11th-century embroidery depicting the events leading up to the 1066 Norman invasion of England, was added for its unique historical value.

UNESCO also selected the Hereford Mappa Mundi, kept in Britain, which is the only complete example of a large medieval world map.

On a lighter register, from the United States it chose the "The Wizard of Oz" -- a film released at the start of World War II, "celebrating kindness, charity, friendship, courage, fortitude, love and generosity."

The world's first feature-length film, the 1906 Australian movie "The Story of the Kelly Gang" telling the tale of a legendary bush ranger, was also added, along with Australian national records on the deportation of some 165,000 convicts from Britain between 1788 to 1868.

From Canada, UNESCO chose the Hudson's Bay Company Archival records, charting the history of the company founded in 1670, which played a crucial role in Canada's creation.

In the same spirit, a vast record of every ship that sailed the Danish straits between the 15th and 19th centuries was added to the list, as a mine of information on the era's international trade.

Other items selected for their documentary value include a collection of Russian, Ukrainian and Belorussian emigre periodicals, published between the two world wars by Russians who fled Bolshevik rule.

Latin America was represented with the Mexican "Coleccion de Lenguas Indigenas": 166 books, printed beginning in 1539, that recount four centuries of colonisation and preserve the memory of 17 indigenous languages.


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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