Finland joins UNESCO application related to handcrafted glass

Finland is joining a multinational application coordinated by France, the objective of which is to have information, technology and skills related to handcrafted glass inscribed to UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Germany, Italy, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Spain are also involved in the application. The application will be submitted to UNESCO in March 2022.

The Ministry of Education and Culture has decided that Finland will join the multinational application and has authorised the Finnish Heritage Agency to be in charge of preparing the application as regards Finland in co-operation with the Finnish Glass Museum and communities in the glass industry. The goal is for the multinational application to be submitted to UNESCO in March 2022. UNESCO is expected to issue its decision in December 2023.

In Finland, glassblowing was chosen for inscription on the National Inventory of Living Heritage related to the UNESCO Convention in 2017.

“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. The inscription will also bring Finland visibility as a place of glass know-how and strengthen international networks,” says Senior Advisor Leena Marsio from the Finnish Heritage Agency joyfully.

Until now, the progress of the application process has been under the responsibility of the Finnish Glass Museum, which has been actively collecting information about the history and current state of glassblowing for 40 years. The tradition, originating from the late 17th century, is still alive yet endangered in Finland – a problem shared by the other countries involved in the application.

“I am very glad that Finland is taking part in the application. We have accumulated local traditions and know-how, which we have been sharing for quite some time now in international communities. In turn, Finnish glassblowers are following the multinational and multicultural traditions of the field. With co-operation, we can support the vitality and preservation of this rare profession,” says Curator Uta Laurén from the Glass Museum.

The first item from Finland to be added to UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage was Sauna culture from Finland in late 2020. In December 2021, UNESCO is expected to issue its decision regarding the addition of the Kaustinen fiddle tradition and the Nordic clinker boat traditions to the list.

For more information, please contact:

Curator Uta Laurén, Finnish Glass Museum, tel. 040 330 4104,

Senior Advisor Leena Marsio, Finnish Heritage Agency, tel. 0295 33 6017,

More information about intangible cultural heritage

Other news about intangible cultural heritage

Glassblowing in the National Inventory of Living Heritage (in Finnish):

Photo: Glassblower Olavi Helander at the Humppilan Lasi Oy glass factory in Humppila on 10 October 1963. Photo: Erkki Voutilainen, JOKA (Journalistic picture archive), Finnish Heritage Agency