International Day on Monuments & Sites

April 18th is a major celebration for ICOMOS and each year the state representatives of Australia ICOMOS organise a number of activities around Australia so that you can celebrate the diversity of the world’s cultural heritage with colleagues, and along with ICOMOS members the world over. It is important to note that this day is not (and never was) called ‘world heritage day’!

Australia ICOMOS welcomes other conservation-minded organisations celebrating this day by organising their own heritage activities: however, we ask that you use the correct title to promote the day. This day is about more than ‘world’ heritage sites – it seeks to raise public awareness of the full diversity of cultural heritage places and landscapes whether they be of international, national or local significance.

About the day

In response to a proposal by ICOMOS, 18 April was endorsed as The International Day on Monuments and Sites by UNESCO in 1983. This special day offers an opportunity to raise public awareness concerning the diversity of the world’s heritage and the efforts that are required to protect and conserve it, as well as to draw attention to its vulnerability. Through its Scientific Council, ICOMOS develops a triennial plan for the themes for the International Day on Monuments and Sites. Australia ICOMOS joins with our colleagues around the world to celebrate and promote this theme by holding activities, conferences, colloquia or other events to raise awareness among the public, the owners of heritage places, or the public authorities by linking a global theme to local or national realities.

For further information on the Day, previous themes, support material and the calendar of activities around the world go to the International Day on Monuments and Sites page of the ICOMOS International website. 

About the theme for 2014: The Heritage of Commemoration

Monuments and sites, including those more complex and diversified forms of heritage places such as living landscapes, are tangible carriers of the memory of a part of the human experience. Thus, through their authenticity and integrity, they contribute, in their way, to the commemoration and transmission of values which include history.

The theme provides an opportunity to present those constructions that have been intentionally created with the purpose of commemorating an event, a person, an idea, etc. This choice of theme is partly inspired by the centennial in 2014 of the beginning of the Great War of 1914-1918.

The heritage of commemoration takes a variety of forms: engraved inscriptions, mausoleums of exceptional architecture or works of monumental sculpture, more modest elements reflecting vernacular traditions or dedicated landscapes such as cemeteries or memorial gardens. This heritage also includes elements that were given a commemorative value; for example, ruins or industrial vestiges accompanied by dedication plaques, or public squares whose toponymy commemorates a historical event or individual.

Read more on the Theme here

Australia ICOMOS will be organising a series of events to celebrate the 2014 Theme around the 18th of April and later in the year. Information on events taking place across Australia can be obtained by clicking on the links below. Should you wish to learn more about the potential events please contact your State Representative or email Kerime Danis, Secretary, Australia ICOMOS. 

About the theme for 2013: The Heritage of Education

The theme for 18 April 2013 – The International Day on Monuments and Sites – is the Heritage of Education. The theme was announced during the last ADCOM meeting held in Beijing and will focus on schools, universities, libraries, academies, etc. in their expressions in different geo-cultural contexts.

Throughout history and in different geo-cultural contexts, education was practised in a wide range of places or buildings. Open spaces, agora or the protective shadow of a tree could be useful for the transmission of knowledge, but also specific institutional buildings such as schools, universities, madrasas, academies, libraries, monasteries, etc.

Many of those buildings, groups of buildings or sites are recognised as bearing not only social or institutional values but also historic or artistic ones, and have therefore become a significant part of our cultural heritage.

The protection and conservation of the heritage of education not only implies preserving cultural assets but also, at the same time, celebrating education as one of the fundamental human tasks.

To read more about this theme, click on the links below:

Information on events taking place across Australia can be obtained by clicking on the links below:

About the theme for 2012: World Heritage

World Heritage – This year’s theme has been chosen to mark the 40th anniversary of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention, which was adopted in 1972. The focus will be on “World Heritage and Sustainable Development: the Role of Local Communities” – which spans their involvement in the nomination process, management and conservation of properties, but also as actors and beneficiaries from a socio-economic perspective, and holders of indigenous management practices and traditional knowledge. ICOMOS welcomes the theme chosen as it represents a continuation of the theme of the ICOMOS 17th General Assembly Scientific Symposium. To read more about this theme, click on the link below:

Click on the links below for information about Australia ICOMOS events celebrating The International Day on Monuments and Sites for 2012.

Australia ICOMOS held a National Symposium on this theme in November 2012. Click on the link below to read the report from this Symposium

About the theme for 2011: The Cultural Heritage of Water

The Cultural Heritage of Water – Water is one of the key resources required to sustain life. It has led to the development and generation of significant material culture in the form of items, technology and places. How to obtain it, how to store it, how to harness its power and conserve it has motivated human endeavour in a myriad of ways. Click here to read more on this theme.

Click on the links below for information about Australia ICOMOS events celebrating The International Day for Monuments and Sites for 2011.

About the theme for 2010: Agricultural Heritage

In 2010 the theme drew international attention to the issues facing the conservation of the world’s Agricultural Heritage. Click here for details about some of these issues.

The 2010 year falls midway in a triennial program celebrating the Heritage of Technology.

The 2009 theme was Heritage and Science – About the Theme of 18 April 2009: Heritage and Science

Click here for information about Australia ICOMOS hosted activities celebrating this day for 2010.