world heritage site

All you need to know about World Heritage Day

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Every year on April 18, the  International Monuments and Sites Day which is also known as World Heritage Day is observed across the globe to promote culture and heritage.The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), based in Paris, is the driving force behind this global event. The purpose of the event is to encourage local communities and people to recognise the importance of cultural heritage in their lives.

 The day also focuses on creating awareness about the diversity and vulnerability of cultural assets, as well as preservation actions for monuments. UNESCO has listed 1155 monuments as world heritage sites in 167 countries including 40 in India

World Heritage Site
Sanchi Stupa, PC: Sudeep K Guru

A Brief History

ICOMOS  in 1982 suggested that April 18 be declared as International Monuments and Sites Day. The date was approved by UNESCO at its 22nd General Conference the following year in 1983, and it has since become a global event. Since then, ICOMOS has proposed a theme for this day every year. This day is about all cultural heritage landscapes of global, state, and local significance, not simply the sites listed. The Archeological Survey Of India (ASI) today observing World Heritage Day at several archeological sites and monuments across the country including one grand festival at Ellora.

Related post; Sanchi Stupa: All you need to know about this Buddhist treasure

Significance of Word Heritage Day

We are all aware that ancient structures and monuments are valuable assets to the human race and the world. Our forefathers left us with a rich cultural heritage that should not be forgotten. The World Heritage Day is an officially acknowledged day dedicated to the protection and preservation of monuments and historical sites, as well as the rich heritage connected to them.

The purpose and significance of the day is not just limited to the several historical monuments and sites. It also plays an important role in maintaining a community’s cultural integrity. With such a rich and diverse culture, it is our responsibility not just to inherit and cherish it, but also to preserve it from harm.

Long back in 1972,  the World Heritage Convention (1972) had stated, “Deterioration or disappearance of any item of the cultural or natural heritage constitutes a harmful impoverishment of the heritage of all the nations of the world”

World Heritage Site
Bhimbetka Rock Shelter, PC: Kalpana Mishra

Also Read: A Walking Tour of Bhimbetka Rock Shelters and Prehistoric Cave Paintings

Theme for 2022

The theme for World Heritage Day in 2022 is “Heritage and Climate”. The theme for World Heritage Day 2021 was “Complex Pasts: Diverse Futures”  ICOMOS has asked its members, individuals, and organisations to organise activities centered around the theme. This year’s theme provides an opportunity to address issues of climate justice and equity in order to conserve heritage. It also provides an opportunity to explore how we may provide equal protection for vulnerable communities

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