Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, was among 49 cities worldwide to join the UNESCO creative cities network (UCCN) on Monday.
The 49 cities were added to the network of 246 cities following their designation by UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay, in recognition of "their commitment to placing culture and creativity at the heart of their development and to sharing knowledge and good practices".
"Delighted that beautiful Srinagar joins the @UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) with a special mention for its craft and folk art. It is fitting recognition for the vibrant cultural ethos of Srinagar. Congratulations to the people of Jammu and Kashmir," tweeted PM Modi.
"Srinagar included in @UNESCO Creative Cities Network in the crafts & folk art category. It is ultimate recognition for artisans & weavers of J&K. Congratulations to entire J&K team, @Junaid_Mattu Ji, @AtharAamirKhan & thanks to @EduMinOfIndia, @MinOfCultureGoI for all the support," J&K Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said.
"Grateful to Hon'ble PM @narendramodi for always giving special priority to J&K. Dossier of exceptionally rich art & craft legacy of Srinagar was meticulously prepared & submitted in June this year by @SMC_Srinagar with help of Kashmir INTACH," he added.
According to a release posted on the UNESCO site, the network now numbers 295 cities reaching 90 countries that invest in culture and creativity – crafts and folk art, design, film, gastronomy, literature, media arts, and music – to advance sustainable urban development.
“A new urban model needs to be developed in every city, with its architects, town planners, landscapers and citizens,” said UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay.
“We are urging everyone to work with States to reinforce the international cooperation between cities which UNESCO wishes to promote,” he added.
While Indian National Commission for Cooperation with UNESCO (INCCU) had recommended Srinagar and Gwalior for inclusion in the coveted list, only Jammu and Kashmir's summer capital made it.
Meanwhile, Mayor of Srinagar Junaid Azim Mattu took to Twitter to announce Srinagar's inclusion in the list.
"GREAT NEWS FOR SRINAGAR! #Srinagar has been inscribed as @UNESCO 'Creative City of Art and Craft'. The only city from India to make it to the list!" Mattu claimed.
However, Mumbai and Hyderabad are already in the network, having made it to the list in October 2019.