Zurich Recognizes Techno as Part of Its Cultural Heritage

The Swiss city acknowledged the music culture's importance as part of a special UN program.

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Jul 5 2017, 9:40pm

Photo courtesy of Flickr.

The biggest city in Switzerland has made techno part of its official "intangible cultural heritage" in partnership with UNESCO, the UN agency best known for selecting the world heritage sites. Techno culture is one of 35 new additions to the UN agency's list of Switzerland's notable cultural traditions, reports Limmattaler Zeitung. Housing cooperatives and city gardens have also been recognized as part of the cultural heritage of the canton of Zurich in particular.

"The development of techno culture in Zurich, with the Street Parade and a very distinctive club scene, lends Zurich a young, open, hedonistic, and international reputation," said University of Basel cultural studies professor Walter Leimgruber in an interview with Limmattaler Zeitung.

Intangible cultural heritage refers to practices, knowledges, or traditions that can't be easily contained in corporeal forms such as monuments; UNESCO established its lists of intangible cultural heritage in 2008. "Intangible cultural heritage is an important factor in maintaining cultural diversity in the face of growing globalization," members of the organization said on UNESCO's website. "An understanding of the intangible cultural heritage of different communities helps with intercultural dialogue, and encourages mutual respect for other ways of life."

Last year, German court ruled that Berghain was an institution of high culture—as differentiated from plain "entertainment"—which gave the famous club a lower tax rate.

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