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International Day for Monuments and Sites 2021 - Complex Pasts: Diverse Futures

Friday, 16 April 2021 at 8:00
access_time 2 min read
Brasilia (Brazil) © Shutterstock / Waldemar Manfred Seehagen

In 1982, UNESCO’s General Conference established 18 April as the International Day for Monuments and Sites, in many countries also celebrated as World Heritage Day. The day is promoted by ICOMOS globally, and the theme for 2021 is “Complex Pasts: Diverse Futures”.

The history of a place can involve many points of view. The conservation of cultural heritage requires careful examination of the past, and its practice demands provision for the future. In recent years, debates on certain narratives, and particular stories over others, have come to the forefront. Addressing difficult and often contested histories involves complex conversations with different stakeholders, avoiding biased views and interpretations of the past.

The World Heritage Convention (1972) states: “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”. However, imbalances in recognition, interpretation and ultimately, conservation of various cultural manifestations continue to exist.

Together with ICOMOS, the UNESCO World Heritage Centre supports inclusive and diverse points of view in heritage identification, conservation and transmission to future generations.

Acknowledging global calls for greater inclusion and recognition of diversity, this Day invites all of us to reflect on, interpret and review existing narratives. One way to participate is by visiting UNESCO World Heritage sites virtually through the online exhibits on Google Arts & Culture.

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Start exploring, reflecting and sharing here
or click directly on site exhibits below.

Friday, 16 April 2021 at 8:00
access_time 2 min read
Keywords 1
World Heritage Properties 50
Central Zone of the Town of Angra do Heroismo in the Azores City of Quito Göbekli Tepe Grimeton Radio Station, Varberg Hegra Archaeological Site (al-Hijr / Madā ͐ in Ṣāliḥ) Historic Centre of Salvador de Bahia Historic Centre of São Luís Historic Centre of the Town of Diamantina Historic Centre of the Town of Goiás Historic Centre of the Town of Olinda Historic Mosque City of Bagerhat Historic Town of Ouro Preto Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works Islands and Protected Areas of the Gulf of California Jeju Volcanic Island and Lava Tubes Jesuit Missions of La Santísima Trinidad de Paraná and Jesús de Tavarangue Jesuit Missions of the Guaranis: San Ignacio Mini, Santa Ana, Nuestra Señora de Loreto and Santa Maria Mayor (Argentina), Ruins of Sao Miguel das Missoes (Brazil) Kilimanjaro National Park Landscape of the Pico Island Vineyard Culture Messel Pit Fossil Site Mudejar Architecture of Aragon Ngorongoro Conservation Area Old town of Regensburg with Stadtamhof Palmeral of Elche Pampulha Modern Ensemble Plitvice Lakes National Park Prehistoric Rock Art Sites in the Côa Valley and Siega Verde Rio de Janeiro: Carioca Landscapes between the Mountain and the Sea Risco Caido and the Sacred Mountains of Gran Canaria Cultural Landscape Rjukan-Notodden Industrial Heritage Site Rock Paintings of the Sierra de San Francisco Roman Walls of Lugo Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France San Millán Yuso and Suso Monasteries Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Congonhas São Francisco Square in the Town of São Cristóvão Serengeti National Park Serra da Capivara National Park Simien National Park The Cathedral of St James in Šibenik Valongo Wharf Archaeological Site Whale Sanctuary of El Vizcaino