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Message from President Cavaco Silva concerning the assignment of “Cante Alentejano” as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

The President of the Republic congratulated the “Cante Alentejano” – Traditional Alentejo Folksong – choirs and the promoters of the candidacy of this vocal art that was named today as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, as decided by the UNESCO International Committee.

Following is the text of the message from President Cavaco Silva:

“I was deeply gratified upon being advised of today’s decision taken by the UNESCO International Committee, in Paris, to include the “Cante Alentejano” in the listings of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Once again, Portuguese culture stands out in the international limelight. A tribute is paid today to an art born from a vernacular and rural tradition, a people’s chant, which is as beautiful as the Alentejo plains where it was nurtured.
On 25 April 2012 I had the occasion to promote, in the Palace of Belém, an initiative dedicated to the “Cante Alentejano”, as an incentive to the candidacy that achieved its glory today.

“Cante” interprets the values of the people through songs and traditional poems sung without recourse to accompaniment with musical instruments. It is thus essential that we preserve this poetic and musical wealth and ensure it is bequeathed to the future generations. “Cante” is the label and the sign of a people, the most genuine and authentic expression of its identity.

The consecration of “Cante Alentejano” as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity will surely contribute towards a better knowledge and safeguard of this musical expression, and to encourage its dissemination especially amongst the younger generations.

There are some 150 groups of this “chant of the land” in Portugal, all of whom I am very happy to congratulate today, jointly with all those who were party to the preparation and success of this candidacy.

Aníbal Cavaco Silva”


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You have gained access to the records of the Official Site of the Presidency of the Republic from 9 March 2006 to 9 March 2016.

The contents available here were entered in the site during the 10 year period covering the two mandates of President of the Republic Aníbal Cavaco Silva.