21:51 GMT +313 December 2017
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    Neapolitan pizza makers prepare pizzas in a bottega on December 6, 2017 in Naples

    Naples Pizza 'Artists' Heralded in UNESCO’s List of ‘Intangible Heritage’

    © AFP 2017/ Tiziana FABI
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    In Naples, the work of a pizzaiuolo, or pizza maker, is considered a form of art; the Italian city's prized pie-making techniques have been handed down from generation to generation.

    Today, following a petition to support Naples’ application which was signed by an estimated 2 million people, UNESCO has named Naples' famous pizza twirling an essential component of the world's “intangible heritage.”

    Neapolitan “pizzaiuolo art” casts a spell on almost everyone: people are especially captivated by that moment when the pizza maker hurls dough into the air, turning the whole process into a show. It’s no secret that it takes up to two-three years to learn the right dough stretching technique and become a maestro pizzaiuolo. The Association of Neapolitan Pizzaiuoli holds annual courses for those who are willing to focus on the history, techniques and instruments of the craft, “ensuring its viability.”

    People are thrilled with the news on Twitter:

    Italian Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry Maurizio Martina expressed his joy for the victory, saying that it was a step forward for the protection of Italy's food heritage:

    UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage list was established with an eye to raise public awareness of the significance of our planet's collective heritage and the importance of safeguarding it. Today, it includes more than 350 items, underlining cultural diversity.

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    pizza, cultural heritage, UNESCO
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