Reviving Syria’s famed and unique water wheels | AFP

On a riverbank in Syria’s Hama, Mohammed Sultan tinkers away on a giant water wheel, one of a dwindling number of artisans able to restore the city’s ancient wooden landmarks. Used for centuries to bring water to gardens and buildings on the shores of the Orontes River, the water wheels or “norias” of Hama are believed to be unique worldwide, according to UNESCO.

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La cerámica de Kosiv entra en la lista del patrimonio cultural de la UNESCO

La cerámica de Kosiv entra en la lista del patrimonio cultural de la UNESCO

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AP Top Stories January 4 P

Here’s the latest for Saturday, January 4th: Thousands in Baghdad mourn Iranian general; Esmail Ghaani appointed to replace Qassem Soleimani; Kangaroo Island fire leaves a swathe of destruction; Kosiv ceramics enter UNESCO cultural heritage list.

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French oyster farm vies for UNESCO recognition | AFP

Cancale in the bay of Mont Saint-Michel in northern France may already be famous for its oyster farms. But now the town is dreaming of recognition on the UNESCO heritage list.

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Unesco’s Valparaiso bears the scars of recent protests in Chile | AFP

Commercial premises burned and looted; broken glass, showcases covered with metal panels, the port of Valparaiso, cultural heritage of humanity of Unesco, shows the wounds of social protests that extends for almost two months in Chile.

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Peruvians perform ‘Hatajo de Negritos’ after entering UN heritage list | AFP

Peruvians perform the “Hatajo de Negritos”, an expression featuring music and singing, after it was inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by the UNESCO last week.

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Morocco’s Gnawa artists cheer UNESCO listing | AFP

Morocco’s centuries-old gnawa music has been added to UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

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Traditional Thai massage gets UNESCO heritage status | AFP

The body-folding, sharp-elbowed techniques of Thai massage were added Thursday to UNESCO’s list of “Intangible Cultural Heritage”. From upscale Bangkok spas and Phuket beach fronts to modest street-side shophouses, “nuad Thai” — or Thai massage — is ubiquitous across the kingdom, where an hour of the back-straightening discipline can cost as little as $5. REFILE – IMAGES AND SOUNDBITESN°1MU921

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Talavera pottery, a Mexican and Spanish pottery tradition, listed by UNESCO | AFP

Talavera pottery, a five-centuries-old pottery tradition from Spain that later arrived in Mexico, where it acquired its own identity, has been inscribed on UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

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Artificial intelligence | AFP Animé

UNESCO, mandated by the United Nations to work on the development of ethical standards in the field of artificial intelligence. Videographic on artificial intelligence. VIDEOGRAPHICS

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Venice faces more floods as state of emergency declared | AFP

Flood-hit Venice braces for another exceptional high tide, as Italy declared a state of emergency for the UNESCO city where perilous deluges have caused millions of euros worth of damage. IMAGES

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Venice gondoliers dive into murky canals for nocturnal clean-up | AFP

Venice’s gondoliers are swapping boating hats for scuba helmets and diving into canals in a clean-up operation of the UNESCO city that has turned up everything from washing machines to bicycles. They have done this six times since February and have collected over 2.5 tonnes of rubbish so far.

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Will disappearing glaciers leave Bolivia’s capital without water? | AFP

Water resources are running dry in the world’s highest-elevation capital due to the combined effect of the Andean glaciers melting, drought and mismanagement.

UNESCO introduced an “Atlas on the retreat of Andean glaciers and the reduction of glacial waters” to map the effects of global warming in 2018.

It said “global warming could cause the loss of 95 percent of the current permafrost in Bolivia by 2050, and 99 percent by 2099.”

Lloyd Wright buildings get UNESCO designation

The United Nations’ cultural body, UNESCO, has announced eight Frank Lloyd Wright buildings will become World Heritage Sites. (July 8)

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UNESCO lists Iraq’s Babylon as World Heritage Site | AFP

UNESCO adds the sprawling Mesopotamian city of Babylon to its World Heritage List, boosting Iraq’s hopes of revived tourism nearly two years after jihadists ravaged other celebrated sites. Iraq had been trying since 1983 to have the site — a massive 10-square-kilometre complex of which just 18% has been excavated thus far — recognised by UNESCO.

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Bethlehem’s Nativity Church removed from UNESCO endangered list | AFP

UNESCO removes Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity from its ‘World Heritage in Danger’ list after the building, identified by Christian tradition as the birthplace of Jesus Christ, went under renovation and conservation works. Church and Palestinian officials have since overseen high-quality work restoring “roof, exterior facades, mosaics and doors,” UNESCO said in a statement.

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Once Upon A Dream (360 Video)

The Peony Pavilion is a 1998 production by Peter Sellars, in a mix of Chinese and English translation, of the Ming Dynasty play The Peony Pavilion.

Part One is an avant-garde staging of the traditional Kunqu form of Chinese opera’s staging of the play, which is how the play is usually performed in China. Part Two is a specially-composed two-hour opera by Tan Dun, mixing Chinese and western forms and instruments.

Kun opera or Kunqu Opera, is one of the oldest extant forms of Chinese opera. It evolved from the Kunshan melody, and dominated Chinese theatre from the 16th to the 18th centuries. The style originated in the Wu cultural area. It is listed as one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO since 2001.

Kunqu singing techniques are said to have been developed during the Ming Dynasty by Wei Liangfu in the port of Taicang, but linked to the songs of nearby Kunshan. Kunqu performance is closely inter-related with the performance of many other styles of Chinese musical theatre, including Peking opera, which contains much Kunqu repertoire. The emergence of chuanqi plays, commonly sung to Kunqu, is said to have ushered in a “second Golden Era of Chinese drama”. Kunqu troupes experienced a commercial decline in the late 19th century. However, in the early 20th century, Kunqu was re-established by philanthropists as a theatrical genre that was subsequently subsidised by the Communist state. Like all traditional forms, Kunqu suffered setbacks both during the Cultural Revolution and again under the influx of Western culture during the Reform and Opening Up policies, only to experience an even greater revival in the new millennium. Today, Kunqu is performed professionally in seven Mainland Chinese major cities: Beijing (Northern Kunqu Theatre), Shanghai (Shanghai Kunqu Theatre), Suzhou (Suzhou Kunqu Theatre), Nanjing (Jiangsu Province Kunqu Theatre), Chenzhou (Hunan Kunqu Theatre), Yongjia County/Wenzhou (Yongjia Kunqu Theatre) and Hangzhou (Zhejiang Province Kunqu Theatre), as well as in Taipei. Non-professional opera societies are active in many other cities in China and abroad, and opera companies occasionally tour.

There are many plays that continue to be famous today, including The Peony Pavilion and The Peach Blossom Fan, which were originally written for the Kunqu stage. In addition, many classical Chinese novels and stories, such as Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Water Margin and Journey to the West were adapted very early into dramatic pieces.

Its melody or tune is one of the Four Great Characteristic Melodies in Chinese opera.

In 2006, Zhou Bing acted as Producer and Art Director for KunQu (Kun Opera) of Sexcentenary. It won Outstanding Documentary Award of 24th China TV Golden Eagle Awards; It won Award of TV Art Features of 21st Starlight Award for 2006.

Filmed by Sichuan radio and television (SRT) as part of a joint project launched by RT360 and Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU).

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Chile seeks UNESCO listing for southern islands

While Chile has many world heritage sites, the country is preparing to submit an application to UNESCO for what could be its first natural heritage site: the Madre de Dios archipelago. Its strong winds and almost constant rain have created unique scenery on the uninhabited archipelago, which is made up of 54 islands.

Oxherds celebrated traditional Costa Rica parade

“Boyeros” (oxherds) take part in the traditional Boyero’s Day parade in Costa Rican capital San Jose. In 2008, UNESCO added oxherding and oxcarts to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Parades close four days of Colombia’s Barranquilla Carnival

Revellers end four days of partying in Colombia’s Barranquilla Carnival, one of the largest in the world, with parades and the ‘funerals’ of the character ‘Joselito Carnaval’ who symbolizes the joy of the carnival and ‘died’ from excess drinking and partying. The Carnival, a tradition created by locals at the end of the 19th century as a response and to parody the celebrations held by European immigrants and aristocracy, was declared a “Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity” by UNESCO in 2003.