UNESCO ADDS PITTSBURGH LEFT TO HERITAGE LIST
PITTSBURGH (Special to the Dispatch).—The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization announced today that the Pittsburgh Left has been added to UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
“The practice of making a left turn just before the light turns green,” the text of the original nomination declares, “while not unique to Pittsburgh, has been developed there to such a degree as to constitute a recognizable form of folk art.”
“Safeguarding our intangible cultural heritage depends on transferring of knowledge from one generation to the next,” said a UNESCO statement read by a children’s choir at the corner of Forbes and Murray in Squirrel Hill. “Conditions must be maintained in which cultural traditions can thrive. The Pittsburgh Left would be endangered if modern left-turn cycles were added to previously existing traffic signals.”
A spokeswoman for the Department of Public Works later replied in a prepared statement that “UNESCO shouldn’t lose much sleep over that.”