DETOURISM: THE ART OF GLASS BEAD MAKING IN VENICE
Segnalazioni | Autore: Lo staff della Su e Zo

Today our post from “Detourism: La newsletter di Venezia”, the newsletter prepared by the Tourism Office of the Town of Venice, is dedicated to the art of glass bead making in Venice, recently added in the Representative List of UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Enjoy your reading!

“Venice and its lagoon” has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1987, but 2020 gave us one bit of good news: the Art of Venetian glass bead making has been added in the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Since 2013 the Committee for the Protection of the Art of Venetian Glass Bead making has been working on the project of nominating the art of the glass bead as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The recognition obtained this year is shared with the French community of the Perliers d’Art de France, which was an allied candidate. For the city of Venice, this is the first registration of an immaterial element in the UNESCO List.

The first beads produced in Venice date back to the 1300s and for centuries they were for the Serenissima a precious trade and export good to Africa, the Americas, and India.
Venetian beads can be perle di conteria, monochromatic tiny beads for embroidery, documented on Murano since the 1300s; rosette beads, invented in the 1400s by Marietta Barovier – also known as Chevron, these beads are created from a hollow glass tube, cut into sections and ground, and present a central design in the shape of a twelve-pointed star; and finally, perle a lume, produced starting in the 1600s, obtained by fusing together rods of different colours of glass.

Shared know-how, traditions, and craftsmanship are combined in the art of the beads, the particular tools for which are sometimes found among simple kitchen utensils. The Intangible Heritage includes not only the process, but also the culture that accompanies the art of making beads, for example the use of a particular language, often associated with sewing and cooking, or the gestures passed down from generation to generation, or even the places linked to this art, which can be found in the toponymy of the city, like Campo de le Impirarésse, master bead stringers, or Campo de le Perlère, the women who produced glass beads at home using the lume technique. The art of the beads is deeply rooted above all in two quarters of Venice: Cannaregio and Castello, while the island of Murano is renowned for its furnaces where the glass rods are produced, the raw material for making beads.

Find out more about the art of glass bead making in Venice on the web site of the Glass Museum of Murano!

[source: La newsletter di Venezia, N° 50/2020 del 31.12.2020]
[picture: Comitato per la Salvaguardia dell’Arte delle Perle di Vetro Veneziane]


We are proud to publish some selected contents of such newsletter (see previous post: “Detourism for the Up and Down the Bridges“). On our website, in several episodes, we will only present some samples (see all posts in our archive page “Detourism Newsletter“), but the invitation addressed to all the friends of the Up and Down the Bridges is to subscribe to the newsletter directly.
Special thanks to the Councillor for Tourism for having enthusiastically welcomed this new important collaboration between TGS Eurogroup and the Tourism Office of the Town of Venice and for giving us the precious opportunity to publish on the pages of this blog some extracts from this newsletter, both in Italian and in English.

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