- National treasure
The idea of national treasure, like national epics and national anthems, is part of the language of Romantic nationalism, which arose in the late 18th century and 19th centuries. Nationalism is an ideology which supports the nation as the fundamental unit of human social life, which includes shared language, values and culture. Thus national treasure, part of the ideology of nationalism, is shared culture.
National treasure can be a shared cultural asset, which may or may not have monetary value; for example, a skilled banjo player would be a Living National Treasure. Or it may refer to a rare cultural object, such as the medieval manuscript Plan of St. Gall in Switzerland. The government of Japan designates the most famous of the nation's cultural properties as National Treasures of Japan, while the National Treasures of Korea are a set of artifacts, sites, and buildings which are recognized by South Korea as having exceptional cultural value.
National treasure can be taken more literally and signify the actual monetary worth of a nation. For example, going to war can cost national treasure.
Notable national treasures
There are thousands of national treasures around the world. Listed here are samples of the different types of things that can be national treasure:
- Lalo Guerrero was declared a national treasure by the Smithsonian Institution in 1980.
- Winston Churchill was declared a national treasure by Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom in 1952.
- In an issue of Q Magazine in 2008 Elvis Costello was described as a National treasure.
- In Q magazine in 2005 it was stated that John Lydon, lead vocalist of The Sex Pistols had "somehow achieved the status of national treasure"
- British comedian, actor, author and director Stephen Fry is often referred to in Great Britain as a national treasure.
- After the Brazilian Football team won the 1962 FIFA World Cup, wealthy European clubs offered massive fees to sign the young player, Pelé, but the government of Brazil declared him an official national treasure to prevent him from being transferred out of the country.
- The late actress Mollie Sugden (1922-2009), is considered a national treasure for her services to acting. Her most memorable role was as head of ladies' intimate apparel Mrs Slocombe in the British series 'Are You Being Served?. Her official site is headed Official Mollie Sugden: A National Treasure.
- In January of 2000, The Source Magazine dubbed rapper DMX a national treasure after the release of his groundbreaking album ...And Then There Was X
- The Fairy Queen locomotive in India.
- The Declaration of Independence for the United States.
- Stonehenge in England
- Original katanas made by Japanese blacksmiths
- Chinese bronze tripod cauldrons (ding) dating back to the Shang Dynasty (1600-1046 BCE)
- Moon rock collected in the lunar space missions by NASA's Apollo missions
- The Constitution of Greece of 2001 declared that the Greek coastline is a national treasure (see Patras).
- The United States natural and cultural resources that collectively comprise the National Park System are considered to be a national treasure.
- In 1997, the United States Library of Congress recognized the song Truckin' by the rock band Grateful Dead as a national treasure of the United States.
- Andy Williams's voice was declared[clarification needed] a national treasure by U.S. President Ronald Reagan.
- World Heritage Site
- National Treasures of Japan
- National Treasures of North Korea
- National Treasures of South Korea
- ^ Stephen Fry gives some Quite Interesting answers Telegraph.co.uk 29-02-2008
- ^ Stephen Fry biography Dave.uktv.co.uk
- ^ Stephen Fry night BBC4 website
- ^ "Pelé (Edson Arantes do Nascimento) The King of football". FIFA.com. http://www.fifa.com/classicfootball/players/player=63869/index.html. Retrieved 8 February 2011.
- ^ Grateful Dead: The Illustrated Trip. Jake Woodward, et al. Dorling Kindersley Limited, 2003, pg. 112.
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