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A week devoted to recognizing cultural heritage

Various events celebrate importance of dry-stone walls, Mediterranean rock art, and ancient olive trees


30 November 2018 07:06 PM



The art of making dry-stone walls was this week added to UNESCO’s list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The inclusion of the technique came from a joint bid from Spain, Croatia, Cyprus, France, Greece, Slovenia, Italy, and Switzerland.

Many examples of dry-stone walls that have stood for decades in Spain are to be found in Catalonia, along with other mainly rural areas in such places as the Balearic Islands, Valencia, Andalusia, Aragon, Asturias, Galicia, and Extremadura.  

Rock art anniversary

In fact, it was a week dedicated to heritage with the announcement that the 'Corpus de les Pintures Rupestre de Catalunya' cave art program, started in 1985 by the Archeology and Paleontology Service, has documented more than a hundred rock art sites.

The announcement was made during an event on Thursday commemorating the 20th anniversary of Unesco declaring the rock art of the Iberian Mediterranean Basin a World Heritage Site, which includes over 700 sites, some 62 of which are to be found in Catalonia.

The efforts to catalog the rock art in Catalonia began with the Roca dels Moros site in El Cogul, where Thursday's event was held. Since then, the program has documented and conserved over a hundred sites, some of which can even be visited.

Ancient olive trees recognized

Meanwhile, Friday saw the olive trees of Terres del Sénia, which are hundreds of years old, declared a Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System (GIAHS), by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

The equivalent to Unesco's World Heritage Sites, it is hoped that the new distinction will help garner support for the conservation of the ancient trees while putting pressure on Parliament to move ahead with passing a law put forward by the Socialist party for the trees to be legally protected.


  • Stone walls in Catalonia photographed in 2014 (by ACN)

  • Stone walls in Catalonia photographed in 2014 (by ACN)