Manises has been one of the 49 cities declared UNESCO Creative Cities in 2021 following the announcement by the Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, in recognition of its commitment to placing culture and creativity at the heart of development and to sharing knowledge and good practices. Manises thus becomes part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, specifically in the category of Crafts and Folk Arts, making it the first and only city in Spain to achieve this distinction so far in this category.
After hearing the news, the Mayor of Manises, Jesús Borràs i Sanchis, pointed out that this international recognition by an organisation of Unesco’s stature “represents a major boost to Manises’ commitment to the ceramics sector and to making the city a world leader in this field, capable of generating opportunities and boosting this engine of development economically, socially and culturally”.
For the mayor, the fact of being the first and only city in Spain to receive this recognition in this category means “reaffirming the positioning” of ceramics on the international scene and “opening” the door to new possibilities in conjunction with other creative cities.
“We accept this challenge with great enthusiasm and with the commitment of all the councillors who make up the current consistory so that Manises is at the level that its history, tradition and culture deserve to be,” added Borràs.
The Manises City Council’s Tourism and Ceramics Promotion Departments have worked very hard to achieve ambitious objectives in this candidacy, together with the Polytechnic University of Valencia, specifically with the help of Professor Mª José Viñals, who was already in charge of the successful candidacy of the Valencian town of Llíria.
The Unesco Creative Cities Network, created in 2004, was created with the aim of fostering international cooperation between cities around the world to make creativity a driver of sustainable urban development, social integration, and cultural life, and to recognise the creativity of its members in seven areas: crafts and popular arts, digital arts, film, gastronomy, literature and music. The Network now includes 295 cities in 90 countries.
So far Spain had 9 creative cities: Seville (Music – 2006), Bilbao (Design – 2014), Granada (Literature – 2014), Burgos (Gastronomy – 2015), Denia (Gastronomy – 2015), Barcelona (Literature – 2015), Terrassa (Cinema – 2017), Llíria (Music – 2019) and Valladolid (Cinema – 2019).
The international organisation has announced on its website the designation of the 49 new Creative Cities on the five continents. From Spain, along with Manises, the city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria was presented in the category of Music, a city that has not been selected on this occasion but to which we wish the best of luck for the next edition.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the institutions, administrations, ceramists, the ceramics sector, associations and all the citizens who have enthusiastically and decisively supported this powerful candidacy.