The International Day for Monuments and Sites (World Heritage Day)

Apr 18, 2011

World heritage Symbol

Today is The International Day for Monuments and Sites (World Heritage Day). It was created on 18th April, 1982, by ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites) and later approved at the 22nd UNESCO General Conference in 1983.

This special day offers an opportunity to raise public’s awareness concerning the diversity of the world’s heritage and the efforts that are required to protect and conserve it, as well as to draw attention to its vulnerability.

2011 Theme: The Cultural Heritage of Water
Water is one of the key resources required to sustain life. It has led to the development and generation of significant material culture in the form of items, technology and places.
How to obtain it, how to store it, how to harness its power and conserve it has motivated human endeavour in a myriad of ways. It has also been the catalyst for the development of significant cultural practices which have generated intangible cultural heritage values.

It has inspired poetry, literature, artistic endeavour such as painting, dance and sculpture. It has informed and inspired the development of philosophies and religious practice.
The cultural heritage of water, therefore relates not only to the technology and architecture that humankind has developed to manage, utilise and celebrate its life giving properties but also to those intangible values that have shaped our beliefs and practices.

Some recent World Heritage Day themes include:
2010: Agricultural Heritage
2009: Heritage and Science
2008: Religious heritage and sacred places
2007: Cultural landscapes and monuments of nature
2006: Industrial Heritage
2005: 40th Anniversary of ICOMOS
2004: Earthen Architecture and Heritage
2003: Underwater Cultural Heritage
2002: 20th Century Heritage
2001: Save our historic villages

Gandhi Walk tops list of heritage day events

For first time in the city Amdavadis can take part in a unique 'Gandhi Walk' on Monday.

It will begin from Panchkuwa area at 8 am in the walled city as part of the World Heritage Day celebrations. The walk would introduce participants to the making of the legend Mahatma Gandhi and his trusted lieutenants, who helped him realize his dream of 'purna swaraj'. This walk is being organized by Gujarat Vidyapith students.

Ideas for celebrating the 18th April
While each year there is a specific theme for the 18th April, each National Committee is free to choose a theme that is most relevant to highlight the heritage issues in their nation or region. Below are a number of general suggestions for nationally organized activities to mark this event:
  • Visits to monuments and sites, and restoration works, possibly with free admission;
  • Specific visits designed for School Children, Youth, Students and young professionals of the field, Experts, the General Public
Spreading knowledge
  • Articles in newspapers and magazines, as well as television and radio broadcasts;
  • Hanging banners in town squares or principal traffic arteries calling attention to the day and the preservation of cultural heritage;
  • Inviting local and foreign experts and personalities for conferences and interviews;
  • Organizing discussions in cultural-centers, city halls, and other public spaces.
  • Exhibitions (photos, paintings, etc)
  • Publication of books, post-cards, stamps, posters
  • Awarding prizes to organizations or persons who have made an outstanding contribution to the conservation and promotion of cultural heritage or produced an excellent publication on the subject.
  • Inaugurate a recently restored monument
  • Special awareness raising activities amongst school children and youth
  • Promotion of "twinning" opportunities, defining areas for co-operation; exchange of speakers; organization of meetings and seminars, or the editing of joint publications.
The preservation and conservation of our heritage - tangible and intangible - is a critical policy objective that has considerable externalities and positive multipliers. These include tourism, job creation and income generation and other issues, especially the creation of pride among an area's residents in their locality to develop it further.