Happy “World Heritage Day” ‘2020
Each year, World Heritage Day is joyously celebrated on April 18 to promote cultural heritage.
The primary objective of celebrating this day is to promote the cultural heritage through various activities which are undertaken by the International Council on Monuments and Sites. ICOMOS suggested in 1982 that April 18 should be observed as an International Day for Monuments and Sites.
The day is about preserving human heritage, diversity and vulnerability of the world’s built monuments and heritage sites. Also, the efforts required to protect and conserve it and to draw attention towards it.
We are all aware that the ancient and heritage buildings and monuments are an asset for any nation and for the world. Therefore, World Heritage Day is a collective effort of the communities in the world to do the needful to conserve it for the coming generations. This day maintain the cultural legacy and make people think about its susceptibility & conservation.
Post ICOMOS‘ suggestion in 1982, the proposal was also unanimously accepted by UNESCO the following year during the 22nd General Conference. According to ICOMOS, the essential aspect is to mark this day so that it becomes not only a day to celebrate a nation’s National Heritage but also a day of International Solidarity in favor of strengthening and safeguarding Heritage world-wide. There are a grand total of 1,121 UNESCO World Heritage Sites worldwide, of which 869 are cultural, 213 are natural and 39 are a mixture.
According to the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) :
1. Inter-generational transfer of knowledge: To emphasize and exchange the importance of knowledge between generations to promote the ICOMOS ethos for the conservation and protection of cultural heritage.
2. Youth Leadership: In each country, professionals will emerge and organize events that will focus on reaching the younger members of the wider public community by showcasing the creative use of social media.
This communication process across the generations of heritage practitioners generates enriching exchanges. Even to combine the knowledge of experienced practitioners with the newer members will bring a more holistic approach to ongoing initiatives.
Therefore, to celebrate World Heritage Day is an opportunity to emphasise the importance of safeguarding, conserving and preserving our heritage. Various conferences related to preserving heritage culture, lectures, training sessions, round-table discussions, poster sessions etc. will pave the importance of heritage and celebrates it on a wider scale.
Theme for World Heritage Day ‘2020
The World Heritage Day Theme 2020 is Shared Culture, Shared Heritage and Shared Responsibility. This theme is even more important now an expression for global unity with current worldwide Coronavirus crisis. The idea behind the theme is the recognition and value of all types of heritage sites across varied diverse groups and communities.
The theme of World Heritage Day 2019 was “Rural Landscapes”. International Day for Monuments and Sites offers the opportunity this year for National and International Scientific Committees to raise awareness about the relevance of rural landscapes, the challenges that encompass their conservation, the benefits that these efforts provide, and how rural landscapes are intrinsically related with sustainable development.
Through history, everyone knows that some cultures were accepted, some were forced onto people, and some received resistance from the people, while some cultures were so heavily damaged that they could not be shared. By adopting this theme, ICOMOS is encouraging people to share and explore different cultures. The theme of ‘Shared Cultures, Shared Heritage, Shared Responsibility’ is also the theme for the ICOMOS 20th General Assembly and Scientific Symposium which is set to take place in Australia this year.
Possible activities for the observations of World Heritage Day include virtual conferences and round tables, live-streamed interviews, press releases, visits to heritage properties, heritage walks, social media campaigns, etc. For the celebrations, one can take the initiative host webinars on various subjects like the importance of the heritage sites, the history behind various monuments and more. With everyone stuck in lockdown, one can even arrange a virtual heritage tour if they have the pictures and videos for it.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization as of special cultural or physical significance.
World Heritage Day gives us an opportunity to conserve and preserve our heritage culture which paves an ancient importance. They have an outstanding universal value.
Out of the 1,121 UNESCO World Heritage Sites worldwide, 38 are in India & Madhya Pradesh hosts 3 of them.