Preservation of Greece’s Intangible Cultural Heritage

According to the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage (2003), Intangible Cultural Heritage is defined as “practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, and skills, as well as the instruments, objects, artifacts, and cultural spaces associated with them that communities, groups, and, in some cases, individuals recognize as part of their cultural heritage.”

Since 2002, Greece has recognized the importance of preserving this heritage, which until then was described as “traditional and contemporary folk culture,” adopting the term “intangible cultural goods.”

The responsibility for implementing the Convention in Greece belongs to the Directorate of Modern Cultural Heritage of the Ministry of Culture and Sports. Its main goal is to inform the public about the Convention and its implications, working closely with communities of stakeholders of intangible cultural heritage and experts to document and preserve Greece’s various cultural traditions.

Greece possesses a wealth of intangible cultural heritage. The recording of all these traditions, passed down from generation to generation, is done in the National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage, which aims to provide an accurate and updated picture of Greece’s intangible cultural heritage. To date, 114 elements have been recorded, from the Mediterranean diet to shipbuilding, from Karagiozis to the Vlach Wedding in Thebes, from the culture of the olive tree to the art of milling grains in water mills and windmills.

At the center of the actions of the Directorate of Modern Cultural Heritage is the creation and implementation of policies to raise awareness among young people about the preservation of cultural heritage. Thus, a high priority goal is cooperation with the educational community, for the design and implementation of programs inside and outside the classroom, aiming to introduce students to intangible cultural goods and sensitize them to their preservation as an important element of collective memory and identity.

With the aim of preserving cultural heritage, our Erasmus+ project i-school was created. Its mission is to increase students’ understanding of the common European cultural heritage, by integrating its teaching in Primary and Secondary Education, with teachers’ use of digital tools and non-formal education methods.

For more information about Greece’s Intangible Cultural Heritage, visit the website

Learn more about our project i-school at

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