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Museum wants UNESCO listing to save German Father Christmas from Coca-Cola’s Santa image

Published: December 19, 2013 | 9:33 am
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A German museum has applied for UNESCO heritage status for the country’s traditional Father Christmas, saying he is under threat from the cheery version of Santa Claus popularized globally by Coca-Cola.

The German Christmas Museum’s director Felicitas Hoeptner argues today’s Santa Claus is based on a German gift-giver who meted out both treats and punishment, but that knowledge of the figure’s origins is fading away.

“Children only know about Santa Claus, because he’s smiling, he brings gifts, he’s a nice man, and with different marketing campaigns, he’s popular all around the world,” Hoeptner told AFP.

Hoeptner has applied for UNESCO “intangible cultural heritage” status for the German Father Christmas, or “Weihnachtsmann,” as well as his symbolic predecessor St. Nicholas.

Father Christmas was developed in Germany during the Protestant Reformation, as a secular replacement for the Catholic St. Nicholas, Hoeptner said.

Source: globaltimes

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