MNA – UNESCO has recognized the team sport of polo, played on horseback, as Iran’s intangible cultural heritage during a session held in South Korea on December 7.
After three years of extensive efforts, international negotiations, and close cooperation between Iran’s sports ministry and Cultural Heritage Organization, the team sport of polo (known as ‘chogan’ in Persian) has been added as Iran’s intangible cultural heritage to UNESCO list during the 12th session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, taking place from December 4 to December 8 in the South Korean capital of Seoul.
Iran submitted a proposal for the inclusion of polo in the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage to UNESCO on 30 March 2016. The dossier was reviewed and shortlisted for inclusion under the 2003 Convention on Nov. 7, 2017.
The polo dossier is the second of thirteen documented Iranian intangible cultural heritages that is related to the country’s traditional sports and ritual games.
The dossier was recognized as a masterpiece of heritage of humanity and inscribed in UNESCO’s list without any objections or provisions.
The first recorded game of polo, in which players on horseback score by driving a small ball into the opposing team’s goal using a long-handled wooden mallet, reportedly took place in 600 BC in ancient Persia.