UNESCO

Dry stone work.

31-10-2018

Dry-stone technique is close to being included on Unesco's list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

A declaration to this effect would not apply only to Majorca and the Balearics. Various regions of Spain, e.g. Andalusia, the Canaries and Catalonia, as well as various countries - Croatia, Cyprus, France and Greece among them - would be covered. Nevertheless, it would take account of variations in technique, for instance those used in French wine-growing regions.

The proposal refers to the art of dry-stone walls and the way in which they are built with stones piled onto others without using any other material except dry earth. It is a technique that dates back to prehistoric times and is indicative of the harmonious relationship between humans and the natural world.

The committee which oversees the declarations believes that the dry-stone nomination is in accordance with criteria of intangible cultural heritage. These include the technique being a "living" one, i.e. it is still very much in use, and the fundamental role it plays in maintaining the environment and landscape.

Unesco has been particularly impressed by the international collaboration in exchanging best practices for the continuance of the technique.

For Majorca to be a part of this, procedures were started in 2015 by the regional environment ministry. These are then forwarded to the national culture ministry.

Majorca is already represented on the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by the Sibil-la chant.