The UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage entered into force in 2003. With 179 countries already involved, the Convention has gained a strong foothold in a short period of time. The most visible part of the Convention is the UNESCO list of intangible cultural heritage, which already contains 549 elements from 127 countries. Of these, more than 50 are related to handicrafts.

The General Assembly of UNESCO’s Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage was held at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris from 8–11 September 2020. At the meeting, the Finnish Crafts Organisation Taito, Finland’s leading provider of crafts consulting and education services, was named the second UNESCO intangible cultural heritage expert organisation in Finland. Previously, only the Finnish Folk Music Institute had been assigned the corresponding expert role in Finland.

“The skill of making objects or things that are meaningful to you, with your own hands, is a tremendous asset. Learning traditional handicrafts and passing on new skills to future generations is a valuable cultural asset that the Finnish Crafts Organisation Taito has promoted for more than a hundred years,” says Minna Hyytiäinen, CEO at the Finnish Crafts Organisation Taito.

As a UNESCO-accredited handicraft expert in the field of intangible cultural heritage, our task is to ensure that Finnish handicrafts remain part of our living cultural heritage in the future,” Hyytiäinen continues.

“Skills are not preserved by chance – they must be maintained. That is why it is great that the National Inventory of Living Heritage already contains 31 craft traditions, from weaving rag rugs to the making of Tommi knives.”  

The Finnish Crafts Organisation Taito is the umbrella organisation of the nationwide Taito Group. Taito Group provides training and advice in the craft sector, supports businesses, and maintains craft skills in Finland. Taito Group’s slogan is Craft = Happiness.

Further information
Leena Marsio, Coordinator of Intangible Heritage, National Board of Antiquities,, tel. +358 295 33 6017
Minna Hyytiäinen, CEO, Finnish Crafts Organisation Taito,, tel. +358 40 505 0944

Read more about the meeting on the UNESCO website

UNESCO’s website on living heritage experiences during the pandemic

Website of accredited organisations

UNESCO’s international lists of intangible cultural heritage