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Shared Cultures, Shared Heritage, Shared Responsibility

Historical monuments or sites are heritage for us. These heritage sites are everywhere on earth and each one of them have their importance.  Different heritage sites reflect the rich past of our ancestors. It is not only for history lovers but anyone would be fascinated by seeing different monuments around us which are heritage and resources for us. We are facing global crisis at present for which we are locked in inside our homes and fighting COVID19. Even if we want to explore any heritage sites at present we are not able to do so.

Like many other events and celebration every year 18th April is for heritage and the occasion is International Day for Monuments and Sites which was proposed by International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS). It was in 1982 that the ICOMOS suggested that April 18 should be celebrated as the International Day for Monuments and Sites and the proposal was approved by UNESCO. It is observed to promote cultural heritage via activities which are undertaken by the ICOMOS

This year’s theme is “Shared Cultures, Shared Heritage, Shared Responsibility” and is important during ongoing worldwide health crisis. The theme for ‘Shared Cultures, Shared Heritage, Shared Responsibility’, reflects the global context of heritage as part of cultural identity at a time of rapid population shift, conflict, and environmental uncertainty. The theme recognises that heritage – whether places, landscapes, practices, or collections – are frequently connected with and valued by multiple and diverse groups and communities. At its core, the overarching theme is concerned with the relationships between cultures or cultural groups and their collective responsibility for the care and safeguarding of the significant attributes, meanings, and values of heritage.

ICOMOS: It works for the conservation and protection of cultural heritage places. It is the only global non-government organisation of this kind, which is dedicated to promoting the application of theory, methodology, and scientific techniques to the conservation of the architectural and archaeological heritage.

ICOMOS is a network of experts that benefits from the interdisciplinary exchange of its members, among which are architects, historians, archaeologists, art historians, geographers, anthropologists, engineers and town planners. The members of ICOMOS contribute to improving the preservation of heritage, the standards and the techniques for each type of cultural heritage property: buildings, historic cities, cultural landscapes and archaeological sites.

There are always threats to heritage sites and it is important for us to make sure that we preserve the heritage sites and monuments. There are many causes of destruction of heritage sites but we must remember that once these sites are destroyed then those cannot be re built the way those were built. International organisation like UNESCO also works for the preservation of heritage sites and all of us may contribute directly or indirectly for the preservation of heritage sites for our interest and for the interest of future generations. Let’s be at home and virtually contribute for preservation and conservation of heritage sites and keep fighting COVID19. 

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Ranjan K Baruah's picture

Citizen Journalist and activist.

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