April 18 -World Heritage Day
World Heritage is defined as the shared wealth of humankind. World heritage is a wonderful reminder of our rich past. It is our duty to protect the heritage and offer it to the coming generations. Heritage sites need to be protected and preserved. They are valuable assets of human civilization. The seeds of World Heritage Day were sown on April 18, 1982. The International Council for Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) had organized a symposium in African country Tunisia. The calls were made for celebration of an “International Day for Monuments and Sites” all over the world. The idea picked up the pace and the committee approved the suggestion. The proposal then moved to UNESCO General Conference where a resolution was passed in November 1983.
Since that fateful day, World has annually celebrated the “International Monuments and Sites Day” also known as “Word Heritage Day” on April 18. Our monuments and sites can only be protected with the collective efforts of the international community. On World Heritage Day, awareness campaigns are organized to educate public about the diversity of cultural heritage and the efforts that are required to protect and conserve it. Heritage sites are vulnerable to several factors and we must do everything in our rights to protect these valuable assets.
Every year, there is a different theme chosen on World Heritage Day. For instance, in the year 2010, the theme was “Agricultural Heritage”. The idea was to reflect the evolution of mankind and its interrelationship with nature. Agricultural Heritage focused on different agricultural practices, systems and landscapes and how they have shaped during the course of human civilization.
The World Heritage Day is celebrated in various ways. Visits to monuments and sites are scheduled with an aim of highlighting their importance and preservation. Restoration works are completed and public is often invited to these monuments. Extensive media coverage focuses on great monuments. Conferences and interviews are conducted all over the place. Discussions and debates are organized and exhibitions are also held.
Every year on 18 April, ICOMOS celebrates the “International Day for Monuments and Sites”, whose establishment was approved by the 22nd UNESCO General Conference in 1983. The theme for 2012 is World Heritage in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention.
The aim of the International Day for Monuments and Sites is to encourage local communities and individuals throughout the world to consider the importance of cultural heritage to their lives, identities and communities, and to promote awareness of its diversity and vulnerability and the efforts required to protect and conserve it.
18 April is celebrated all over the world by a wide range of organisations and many ICOMOS National and International Scientific Committees. Events include scientific conferences and symposia, exhibitions, photography competitions, excursions, press conferences, the awarding of prizes, releasing press releases, publishing magazine articles and projecting films, among others.
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