Dutch fair on UNESCO list?

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Local politicians in the Dutch city of Tilburg want the city's traditional fair, which kicks off today, to be put on a UNESCO heritage list.

For the ten days leading up to and including the last Sunday in July, Tilburg - in the south of the Netherlands - goes mad. This year’s fair boasts 233 “exciting and daredevil attractions” spread over a 4.5-kilometre stretch of the city centre.

It is the largest fair of the Benelux countries and, with over one million visitors each year, the second largest event in the Netherlands. The first mention of a ‘Tilburg Fair’ was made in 1570, but the tradition is reckoned to be even older.

Dutch culture Tilburg City Council wants the fair to be put on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage List when the Netherlands ratifies the relevant UN convention later this year. ”The fair is essential Dutch culture,” argues Councillor Joost Möller. “Almost nowhere else in the country has it such a central place in the history of a city as in Tilburg.”

The Netherlands has already signed the UN agency’s World Heritage Sites convention. Amsterdam’s rings of canals and the windmills at Kinderdijk are both UNESCO World Heritage sites.

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