New Delhi: Each year April 18 is celebrated as the World Heritage Day or less popularly known as the International Day of Monuments and Sites.
World Heritage Day is celebrated to preserve the monuments and culturally significant items of a civilization. It is important because “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”, mentioned in The World Heritage Convention (1972).
History of World Heritage Day
The idea to have a separate day to mark respect for historically and culturally significant monuments and sites was proposed in 1982 by the ICOMOS (International Council and Monuments and Sites).
They suggested that an International Day of Monuments and Sites would help spread awareness regarding the preservation of ancient culture and its historic sites.
The suggestion was adopted one year later in 1983 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) during the 22nd General Conference.
Significance of World Heritage Day
World Heritage Day is important because it helps in spreading awareness about the “heritage identification, conservation and its transmission to future generations,” according to an article on UNESCO official website.
World Heritage Day theme 2021
The theme for this year’s World Heritage Day is Complex Pasts: Diverse Futures. The theme for this year is decided keeping conflicting histories on the same historical and cultural issues in mind and the need to discuss these varying opinions and perspectives. “This day invites all of us to reflect on, interpret and review existing narratives,” reads the UNESCO article.