It is considered as a huge recognition of Kashmiri craft and heritage

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed happiness over Srinagar joining the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) with a special mention for its craft and folk art.

In a tweet, the Prime Minister said, “Delighted that beautiful Srinagar joins the @UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) with a special mention for its craft and folk art. It is a fitting recognition for the vibrant cultural ethos of Srinagar. Congratulations to the people of Jammu and Kashmir.”

The announcement was made by UNESCO on its website on Monday. The 49 cities were added to the network of 246 cities following their designation by UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay.

Srinagar joins Chennai and Varanasi - UNESCO Cities of music; Jaipur - UNESCO city of crafts and folk arts; Mumbai - UNESCO city of film and Hyderabad - UNESCO City of gastronomy, UNESCO New Delhi Office said in a statement.

The network now numbers 295 cities reaching 90 countries that invest in culture and creativity — crafts and folk art, design, film, gastronomy, literature, media arts, and music — to advance sustainable urban development, the UNESCO said.

“A new urban model needs to be developed in every city, with its architects, town planners, landscapers and citizens. We are urging everyone to work with states to reinforce the international cooperation between cities which UNESCO wishes to promote,” said UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay.

UNESCO New Delhi Director Eric Falt offered words of praise to all those who worked on the candidacy of Srinagar.

“I would like to offer my warm congratulations to India and especially to Srinagar. This a great recognition of the vitality of the arts and crafts sector in Srinagar,” he was quoted as saying in the statement.

Saleem Baig, Convener of INTACH (J&K Chapter), said they have been preparing a dossier for this recognition for the last four years and making it to the UNESCO list is a huge recognition of artisans of Kashmir who have kept the centuries’ old craft alive.

“It’s a huge recognition of Kashmiri craft and heritage. Its recognition of the identity of Kashmir, its craftsmen who sustained tradition for centuries,” said Baig.

“We were left out in 2019. This time there were two cities recommended for the recognition - Srinagar and Gwalior. UNESCO decided to select Srinagar this time,” he maintained..