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Dublin: 10 °C Wednesday 21 March, 2018

Macron wants the French baguette to become a Unesco-listed symbol

Irish uilleann piping was granted the same status last year.

Image: Andriy Blokhin via Shutterstock

PRESIDENT EMMANUEL MACRON has joined calls by bakers for France’s traditional baguette to be recognised as one of the world’s cultural treasures on Unesco’s list of “intangible heritage”.

The status would aim to draw attention to the importance of safeguarding essential items that make up the world’s cultural diversity.

The call came after the art of Naples’ dough-twirling pizza makers was given the nod by the UN cultural body’s World Heritage Committee in December.

Other “intangible heritage” items on the Unesco list are falconry, Arabic coffee, the Mediterranean diet and Ireland’s uilleann piping.

“The baguette is envied around the world. We must preserve its excellence and our expertise, and it is for this reason that it should be heritage-listed,” Macron told a group of master bakers at the Elysee presidential palace in Paris.

Dominique Anract, the head of the national confederation of baking and pastry, earlier said the “marvellous” baguette, made of flour, water, salt and yeast, should “have its rightful place” in world heritage.

Along with the Eiffel tower, the baguette is one of the main symbols of France, Anract told a local radio station.

“The baguette is part of daily life in France and the bread has a special history,” Macron said.

It’s a morning, midday and evening tradition for the French.
I know our bakers, they saw the Neapolitans succeed in getting their pizza classified under UNESCO world heritage, and they said why not the baguette – and they’re right!

- With reporting from Gráinne Ní Aodha, © AFP, 2018

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