The Deputy Minister of Cultural Heritage of Iran, Mohammad Hassan Talebian, announced the registration of the art of painting miniatures as the 15th intangible heritage of Iran in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
According to Iran's official news agency, IRNA, Talebian announced on Wednesday that the miniature art of Iran, Turkey, the Republic of Azerbaijan, and Uzbekistan were included in the list of intangible human heritage.
The origins of this art in Iran date back to pre-Islamic times, with special schools dedicated to the craft.
Miniature art was the 15th Iranian cultural element inscribed on UNESCO Lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage, Talebian said.
The 15th World Committee of Intangible Heritage of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), which is underway virtually due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, decided on Tuesday to register the art of miniature as an intangible cultural heritage. The decision passed by a majority vote, with no opposition.
"Intangible cultural heritage" refers to cultural productions and processes such as song, music, dance, drama, cooking, handicrafts, and various festivals that have survived over time and from previous generations.
This type of heritage can be stored in a physical location but can be experienced through tools and equipment.
Such cultural productions have been called "human treasures" by the United Nations.
In a message on Thursday, the Islamic Republic's Minister of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts, Ali Asghar Mounesan, said, "The art of miniature in Iran is thousands of years old as Iranian has had a 'deep relationship' with miniature and miniaturists."
Furthermore, according to Mounesan, "The art of miniature has displayed the images of bliss, miseries, and various states of Iranian society throughout history."
The Iranian people have always revered the miniature artists, the minister added.
According to UNESCO's website, the miniature patterns represent beliefs, worldviews, and lifestyles in a pictorial fashion.