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On the 16th of November, 2010, in Nairobi (Kenya), UNESCO approved the inclusion of the 'castells' to the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH). Thus, 'castells' achieved the maximum institutional recognition they could aspire to at an international level. According to UNESCO, 'castells' “are recognized by Catalans as an integral part of their cultural identity, transmitted from generation to generation, providing community members with a sense of continuity, social cohesion and solidarity."

With the ICH Convention (2003), UNESCO aims to value cultural elements such as rituals, festivals or traditional knowledge, which for a long time have been considered second-class culture. UNESCO emphasizes that this heritage is equally fundamental for the communities that participate and feel recognized.

The inclusion of an element in the List implies, on the part of the administrations, the responsibility to ensure its safeguarding; that is, to work in order to maintain the conditions that make viable the continuity of that element. The Concurs de Castells and the Biennial de Castells are, in this sense, important tools to guarantee their safeguarding.

Other elements that have been included in the UNESCO’s ICH List are also present in Tarragona ─such as the Mediterranean diet, flamenco, the art of dry stone constructions or the Song of the Sibyl─ but, without a doubt, the one that better identifies with the city is 'castells'. Furthermore, the archaeological complex of Tarraco is part of the UNESCO World Heritage List, so in Tarragona tangible and intangible heritage recognized by UNESCO coexist in the same urban space.