PAG, 15 May 2021 – Traditional lace from the Croatian island of Pag can no longer be used without the approval of authorities on the island.
Anyone who wants to commercialise it or use its motifs for souvenirs, clothing and other items, must sign a license agreement as the Town of Pag has protected Pag lace with the State Intellectual Property Office.
“With this act, we pay tribute to Pag lace and choose who will use it and in what way,” the director of the Pag Tourist Board, Vesna Karavanić, told HRT.
About thirty entrepreneurs have already applied for a license, such as a jeweller who is inspired by elements of Pag lace.
Apart from Pag, today in Croatia there are two other centres of lace-making tradition – the island of Hvar and the northern town of Lepoglava.
“This is a project that is in its infancy, but it is special for Pag and for everyone who has this kind of lace and handicrafts. Like Lepoglava. So we are opening the way for our cultural treasure to be used in the right and appropriate way,” says Karavanić.
With the money obtained from the licenses, the Town of Pag will help the lacemakers’ associations and the Pag lace school.
“We have adult education and every year 5-10 people leave our school as qualified Pag lacemakers,” points out the director of the Bartul Kašić High School in Pag, Marija Pećirko.
Guardians of the Pag lace-making tradition are the only ones who do not have to sign a license agreement. Everyone else who uses elements of that lace, and does not have a license, are now in violation.
Lace-making in Croatia is a tradition dating back to the Renaissance. Throughout the years, Croatian lace has become notable for its unique patterns and designs.
In 2009, UNESCO recognised lace-making in Croatia as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
It is believed that the Pag lace takes its origin from the city of Mycenae. In the town of Pag, lace-making began in the late 15th century for the church liturgical vestments. Making lace was initiated by the Benedictine convent that had a school of lace.