Center for Intangible Cultural Heritage of Serbia

The Center for the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Serbia was inaugurated at the Ethnographic Museum in Belgrade in 2012 as an expert body responsible for the implementation of the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. Maintaining the National Register of Intangible Cultural Heritage is one of the most important tasks of the Center.

The Center is actively involved in the preparation of nomination dossiers for the inscription Serbia’s living heritage on UNESCO’s lists: the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding, and the Register of Good Safeguarding Practices.

The Center is responsible for collecting, documenting, studying and presenting elements of intangible cultural heritage from the territory of the Republic of Serbia. In performing these tasks, it cooperates with regional coordinators, scholarly, education and cultural institutions, NGOs, experts, local communities, and individuals, both nationally and internationally.

An important segment of the Center’s activities is cooperation with heritage bearers and local communities, aimed at raising awareness of the importance of heritage safeguarding, its identification, and transmission to new generations. In this way, the bearers of living heritage are made aware that, as opposed to elements of material culture, intangible cultural heritage is practised, transmitted and safeguarded in local communities and not in heritage institutions.

The National Registry of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of the Republic of Serbia

The management of the National Inventory of the Intangible Cultural Heritage and all the relevant documents in electronic, paper, video, and audio file formats constitute one of the most important activities of the Center for the Intangible Cultural Heritage.

At the moment, the National Inventory of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of the Republic of Serbia contains 53 elements inscribed on the List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Elements, adopted by the National Committee for the Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Inscription on the List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage

Nominations for inscription on the List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage may be submitted by local communities, institutions, appropriate non-governmental organizations, or individuals able to document the proposals with the relevant supporting documents.

A nomination package should include a completed nomination form, the opinion of the professional institutions (museums, archives, institutes, etc.) or experts in a given field of the intangible cultural heritage, as well as the consent of the holders of the element.

A notarized nomination form with the attached expert opinion and consents of the holders of the element shall be submitted to regional coordinators responsible for a given territory, who keep basic records of the nominations and forward them to the Center for the Intangible Cultural Heritage at the Ethnographic Museum.

Each year, the National Committee for the Intangible Cultural Heritage of the Republic of Serbia sets deadlines for submission of nominations for inscription on the List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.