Source: Tehran Times
Iran's Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Organization (CHTHO) has stated that it is opposed to UNESCO's plan to register polo on its List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity exclusively from the Republic of Azerbaijan.
A Persian miniature from the poem Guy-o Chawgân ("the Ball and the Polo-mallet") during Safavid dynasty of Persia, which shows Persian courtiers on horseback playing a game of polo, 1546 AD
Speaking to the Persian service of ISNA, CHTHO Deputy Director Mehdi Hojjat said, "In a letter the CHTHO plans to send to UNESCO, we will announce Iran's objection to Azerbaijan's decision to prepare documents to register chogan (polo) on the list for Azerbaijan alone.
"We will tell UNESCO that the traditional game is a common element that should be not registered exclusively in the name of a single country."
Hojjat added that Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India, along with Iran, have a claim on the game and noted, "There is a consensus among all these countries that Azerbaijan does not have the right to register the activity solely for itself on UNESCO's list."
"Cultural records show that chogan has been played in Iran since ancient times. Ferdowsi's Shahnameh has made many references to this sport, and it has been portrayed in many historical miniatures," he said.
The 8th session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage will be held in Baku, Azerbaijan from December 2 to 7.
At the session, twelve nominations from across the world will be examined for registration on UNESCO's List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity needing urgent safeguarding.
Iran also raised an objection to UNESCO's decision in December 2012 to inscribe the performance of the tar and methods for the construction of the Iranian musical instrument on its List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity for Azerbaijan.
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