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France Tick Bullfighting Off Cultural Heritage List

France Tick Bullfighting Off Cultural Heritage ListFrance Tick Bullfighting Off Cultural Heritage List

Anti-bullfighting campaigners in France were cheering after a French court ruled that the tradition of “La Corrida” – Spanish-style bullfighting – should be taken off the national list of cultural heritage. Nevertheless, it is unlikely to be banned anytime soon, The Local reported.

France is not a country many associate with bullfighting and a court in the country seems to agree.

Although the controversial spectacle is fairly alive and well in certain parts of the southwest, those who want to see it banned in France scored a symbolic blow this week.

Corrida was added to the French Ministry of Culture’s list of “intangible heritage” to much controversy back in 2011, before they removed any mention of it from their website amid a huge hullaballoo.

Animal rights campaigners wanted it withdrawn completely but an appeal court ruled that in the minds of judges it was already done and considered that bullfighting had been annulled from the heritage list.

Roger Lahaha, vice president of the animal rights group CRAC Europe, described the decision as “an immense victory”.

“It is one more step towards the abolition of a barbarism that belongs to another age,” he said.

But they may have a long way to go before they see it banned in France, especially with Spanish born Manuel Valls – a keen fan of bullfighting - now the country’s prime minister.

In 2012, Valls issued a staunch defense of the tradition saying: “It’s a culture that we have to preserve. We need these roots; we should not tear them out.”

The intangible heritage list is created at the request of UNESCO, which asks countries to identify their most prized traditions, which may be then granted special heritage protection.

The most famous French tradition on the list is gastronomy, which was granted special protection back in 2010.

Unlike tangible heritage, which refers to sites and monuments around the world, intangible heritage refers to cultural processes that “provide living communities with a sense of continuity in relation to previous generations and are of crucial importance to identity.”

Lahaha, said, “This is an immense victory for the fight against the corrida in France, and in the world of bullfighting generally, which is more and more constrained.”