April 18th

International Day for Monuments and Sites -

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Celebrated annually on April 18, the International Day for Monuments and Sites, or World Heritage Day as it’s also commonly known, is a globally recognized event. The primary objective of this day is to elevate public consciousness about the sheer diversity and fragility of the world’s monuments and sites of heritage, and the endeavour needed to conserve and protect them. Each year, diverse themes are selected to spotlight particular facets or types of heritage.

World Heritage Day acts as a platform for us to value and acknowledge the abundant cultural heritage among us, underscored by the critical need for its preservation for forthcoming generations.

History of International Day for Monuments and Sites

The International Day for Monuments and Sites, alternatively known as World Heritage Day, is a yearly celebration that takes place on 18th April. The intention of this day is to increase public understanding and appreciation of the rich variety of our cultural heritage, the susceptibility of these treasures, and the necessary work needed to preserve them.

This significant day originates from 1982, formulated by the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), a non-profit entity dedicated to the preservation and protection of global cultural heritage sites. Established in 1965, ICOMOS often collaborates with UNESCO, offering them advice on a range of subjects, including the inclusion of important cultural heritage sites in the World Heritage List.

It was during the 11th ICOMOS General Assembly in Tunisia in 1982 that the decision was made to declare April 18 as the “International Day for Monuments and Sites”. This proposal was accepted by the UNESCO General Conference in the following year, inaugurating the occasion formally.

Every year, the day focuses on a unique theme. Themes from previous years include Shared Cultures, Shared Heritage, Shared Responsibility (2020); Rural Landscapes (2019); and Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Tourism (2017).

In essence, the International Day for Monuments and Sites has a crucial role in spotlighting the significance of cultural heritage, urging its conservation, and enhancing its recognition in the community. Beyond just safeguarding ancient structures and artefacts, it’s about preserving the cultural richness they infuse into our society and unravelling the stories they narrate about our collective past.

International Day for Monuments and Sites Timeline

Stonehenge

Construction begins on Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England. It would take over 1000 years to complete.

Great Pyramid of Giza

Built as a tomb for the Egyptian pharaoh Khufu, it is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Acropolis of Athens

Construction of the Acropolis, including the Parthenon, begins during the height of the Athenian empire.

Colosseum

Construction of the Colosseum begins in Rome during the reign of Emperor Vespasian.

Taj Mahal

Construction begins on the Taj Mahal, commissioned by Shah Jahan to house the tomb of his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal.

Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower is constructed for the 1889 Exposition Universelle (World's Fair) to celebrate the 100th year anniversary of the French Revolution.

Christ the Redeemer

Statue 'Christ the Redeemer' is built on the Corcovado mountain in Rio de Janeiro.

Introduction of International Day for Monitions and Sites

At the 22nd UNESCO General Conference, ICOMOS announced the 18th April as the 'International Day for Monuments and Sites'.

Ideas to Celebrate International Day for Monuments and Sites

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Monument Scavenger Hunt

Organize a city-wide or local monument scavenger hunt with clues and riddles. This will not only be fun but also educational as participants will learn about the history and cultural significance of the monuments.

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Volunteer for monument restoration

Join a local monument restoration project. This is a hands-on approach and gives you the ability to actively contribute to the preservation of historical and culturally significant sites.

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Virtual Tour

Arrange a virtual tour to globally recognized UNESCO heritage sites with the aid of virtual reality devices. Share interesting tales and facts about these fantastic monuments.

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Documentaries and Lectures

Hold special film screenings and lectures on world heritage sites, their history, and their importance. Engage historians, archaeologists or heritage experts to provide in-depth knowledge.

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Visit to Archaeological Museums

Organize tours to local archaeological museums that house artifacts and tell stories about the historical and ancient sites around.

8 Interesting Facts About Monuments and Sites

1.

The Great Wall of China

Contrary to popular belief, the Great Wall of China is not visible from space. However, it is still incredibly long, stretching over 13,000 miles! This makes it the longest wall in the world.

2.

Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty, a gift from France to the United States, was actually a copper color when it was first constructed. Over time, the outer layer of copper oxidized, giving the statue its now famous green hue.

3.

Stonehenge

Each stone of Stonehenge, in Wiltshire, England, weighs approximately 25 tons and had been transported from a distance of 20 miles. It's still a mystery how ancient people moved these heavy stones without modern technology.

4.

Christ the Redeemer

Located in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, this gigantic statue of Jesus Christ is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Despite being hit by lightning multiple times, the statue remains largely undamaged due to its soapstone and reinforced concrete structure.

5.

The Taj Mahal

Did you know that the Taj Mahal, one of the most famous and beautiful buildings in the world, is actually a tomb? Built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, it houses the tomb of his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It's also said that the monument changes color depending on the time of day.

6.

The Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower is painted every seven years, and it takes 60 tons of paint to cover it each time! Also, the structure grows and shrinks by up to 6 inches depending on the temperature.

7.

The Pyramids of Giza

The Pyramids of Giza are the only one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World that still exist today. The Great Pyramid was the tallest man-made structure for nearly 4000 years until the construction of the Eiffel Tower.

8.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa

This famous tower in Italy started to lean during its construction in the 12th century due to soft ground which could not properly support the structure's weight. Despite multiple attempts to correct it, the lean continues to this day.

International Day for Monuments and Sites FAQs

Next International Day for Monuments and Sites Dates

Year Date Day
2023 April 18th Tuesday
2024 April 18th Thursday
2025 April 18th Friday
2026 April 18th Saturday
2027 April 18th Sunday
What is the pattern? Every April 18th

International Day for Monuments and Sites Word Search

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