Lasismi glass studio Riihimaki 4 9 2019 glass artist Henriikka Pollanen photo Hanna Mamia Walther

Application for handcrafted glass to UNESCO

Knowledge, craft techniques and skills related to handcrafted glass is an applicant for the UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. The application is multinational, and UNESCO is expected to issue its decision in December 2023. The Finnish Heritage Agency was responsible for preparing the application as regards Finland in co-operation with the Finnish Glass Museum and communities in the glass industry.

The history of glassmaking dates back to the early days of our era. In Finland, the earliest finds are from the Iron Age, and glass has been made by hand from the 17th century. Today, there are only a couple hundred tradition practitioners. Finnish glass design is internationally known.

“The application related to handcrafted glass reinforces the appreciation of handcrafting know-how while also bringing the perspectives of design and cultural heritage closer to each other. Multinational applications intensify international cooperation on living heritage. Many traditions have been born and developed in the interaction between the countries”, says specialist Leena Marsio from the Finnish Heritage Agency.

The application also includes Germany, the Czech Republic, Spain, Hungary and France, which has coordinated the application process.

The Finnish Heritage Agency was responsible for preparing the application as regards Finland, and the Finnish Glass Museum together with the communities in the glass industry were responsible for the progress of the application process. The Ministry of Education and Culture made the decision on Finland’s accession to the multinational application in June 2021.

The application has been supported by the following parties:

Glass makers, studios and companies

Bianco Blu Oy, Glass Studio Hytti, Glass Studio Jan Torstensson, Nuutajärven Galleria cooperative NuGO, Nuutajärven Lasitaitajat ry, Iittala glass works/ Fiskars Group, Lasismi

Alvar Aalto Museum, Designmuseum, The Finnish Glass Museum

Aalto University – School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Department of Design, Häme University of Applied Sciences (HAMK), SASKY Ikaalinen College of Crafts and Design, Tavastia Vocational College, University of Lapland

Professional organisations and networks
Friends of the Finnish Glass Museum ry, Lasita Finnish Glass Artists ry, Nuutajärvi Glass Village Cultural Foundation sr, Ornamo ry, Alvar Aalto Foundation

More information

Learn more about the intangible cultural heritage

Other news about intangible cultural heritage

Glassblowing in the National Inventory of Living Heritage

Uta Laurén, Finnish Glass Museum, tel. +358 40 330 4104,

Leena Marsio, Finnish Heritage Agency, tel. +358 (0)2 9533 6017,