World Heritage Day 2021: Theme, History and Significance

·2-min read

Every year April 18 is marked as World Heritage Day or the International Day for Monuments and Sites. Heritage is an integral part of our history and tradition and the day emphasises on raising awareness about the same – the need to preserve it for future generations.

Ancient monuments and sites are an asset for any nation and need to be preserved and protected for the next generations to take pride in their rich culture and heritage. The day is dedicated to not only make people aware of their heritage and monuments but also recognize the tremendous effort and work done by organizations and communities like The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) in this regard. There is a need for global awareness and inclusion of communities’ participation to realise the goal on a larger scale.

History of World Heritage Day

Until the end of the 19th century, architectural heritage had been a matter of national concern. It was in the year 1964 that International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) was established on the principles put down in The Venice Charter. The charter was crafted to meet the needs to create an association of conservation and restoration specialists, independent from the already existing association of museologists called ICOM.

During a seminar in Tunisia, in 1982, ICOMOS suggested celebrating World Heritage Day on April 18. The resolution for the same was passed in November 1983 at the 22nd session of the UNESCO Conference.

Theme of World Heritage Day

Each year on this day, ICOMOS proposes a theme for activities and campaigns to be organized by its members, national and international scientific committees, partners, and anyone who wants to join in celebrating the day.

This year’s theme “Complex Pasts: Diverse Futures” reflects on the need to acknowledge global calls for greater inclusion and recognition of diversity.

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