“A highly symbolic step towards inter-Korean reconciliation, that reminds us of the peace-building power of cultural heritage”
26 November 2018

The Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, meeting in Port Louis (Mauritius), has decided to inscribe traditional Korean wrestling, ssirum/ssireum, on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, on the basis of a joint application by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea.

“The fact that both Koreas accepted to join their respective applications is unprecedented,” declared Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO. “This would not have been possible without great trust in UNESCO on the part of all Korean authorities. The joint inscription marks a highly symbolic step on the road to inter-Korean reconciliation. It reminds us of the peace-building power of cultural heritage, as a bridge between peoples. This marks a victory for the longstanding and profound ties between both sides of the inter-Korean border.”

Please click here for the full press release by UNESCO.