World Heritage Day, also known as International Day for Monuments and Sites, is observed every year on 18 April. The day focuses on raising awareness about the rich heritage that is an integral part of our culture and tradition.
To celebrate the day, a number of activities are undertaken by the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS). The includes tours of heritage sites, seminars and discussions on various issues related to the conservation of historical and cultural sites of importance.
In 1982, ICOMOS suggested to UNESCO that 18 April should be celebrated as the International Day for Monuments and Sites. During the 22nd General Conference in 1983, the proposal was approved, paving the way for the first celebrations.
According to ICOMOS, World Heritage Day is observed to celebrate national heritage. The day also create international solidarity to strengthen and safeguard historical and cultural sites.
What is the theme for this year?
Every year World Heritage Day is marked with a specific theme. A number of activities and campaigns are planned by ICOMOS members, national and international scientific committees, and other institutions to highlight the need for preserving our shared heritage.
This year’s theme is “Heritage and Climate” to promote conservation research and employ sustainable strategies to protect heritage sites.
What is the significance of this day?
The day assumes significance as it aims to raise awareness about our cultural heritage and promote historical monuments that need to be preserved. World Heritage Day advocates that the deterioration or disappearance of any part of a country's history and culture can lead to impoverishment of shared global heritage.
As the day is being observed amid the COVID-19 pandemic, people are advised to participate in the celebrations by visiting UNESCO World Heritage sites virtually with online exhibits on Google Arts and Culture.
Which is your favourite heritage site? Comment below.