Cobza could be included in UNESCO Heritage List. Ioana Baskerville: There must be cooperation between sides of the Prut

The cobza and the crafting of this instrument could be included in the UNESCO heritage list. It will be a joint Romania-Republic of Moldova file. Romanian researcher Ioana Baskerville said the task of specialists from both banks of the Prut River is to continue documenting, discovering and promoting the particularities of this musical instrument. The opinions were presented in IPN’s public debate “UNESCO file “Cobza”. Moldovan-Romanian cooperation in promotion of intangible cultural heritage”.

Romania and the Republic of Moldova cooperate to obtain the inscription of cobza and cobza playing in the UNESCO Intangible Heritage list. The file will include elements related to cobza playing and also elements of crafting this instrument. Ioana Baskerville noted that the two countries must make joint efforts to obtain the acceptance of this file, as the heritage is a common one.

“An important measure is to continue the documentation, which must be done by specialists. They are involved in this file. They need to get to the traditional rural root. We can find records in local, county archives, which keep recordings of old cobza players. Also, we as researchers, as specialists in the field of traditional culture, must make these materials accessible. There are young cobza players who didn’t have the luck, the chance to receive this valuable repertoire from the community and we must help them and offer them this remarkable repertoire from the recordings that we can publish and offer to the interested public. Another important thing is to continue the cooperation between the two sides of the Prut. This heritage is a common one. Not we, the specialists, made it common. We discover and value it and we will continue these joint activities. We must enjoy the similarities between cobza playing on both sides of the Prut, but also discover the small differences,” said the scientific researcher.

According to the Romanian researcher, the initiative to inscribe cobza in the UNESCO Heritage List must come from cobza players, from those who want to preserve and promote cobza playing.

“Normally, this type of initiatives must come, according to the UNESCO protocol, from those who are the bearers of this heritage in their soul. They are the ones who have to tell governments, ministries of culture and experts that we have this heritage and we want to promote it internationally. Especially, in the case of the cobza – a heritage element that experiences particular problems and suffers. We need to promote it at intergovernmental level and help to keep it alive. Those who wanted this file are those who perform and see the decreasing interest of lute players, young singers to preserve this heritage,” said Ioana Baskerville.

The public debate was the third edition of the project “Double integration through cooperation and information. Continuity”, which is funded by the Department for Relations with the Republic of Moldova. The content of this debate does not represent the official position of the Department for Relations with the Republic of Moldova.

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