April 18

April 18 – International Day on Monuments & Sites

April 18 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’!

Information about the theme and events for the current year is presented below. For information about the themes and events for previous years, visit the International Day on Monuments & Sites webpage.

Theme for 2024:

Disasters and Conflicts Through the Lens of the Venice Charter

At the General Assembly 2023 in Sydney, the theme of “Disaster and Conflict Resilient Heritage – Preparedness, Response and Recovery” was chosen as the theme for the Triennial Scientific Plan 2024-2027. As ICOMOS develops a roadmap for capacity building for “disaster and conflict resilient heritage” for its members and the wider heritage community and gets ready to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Venice Charter (31 May 2024), we look back on our shared inheritance from this very charter, and ahead as we ask ourselves what the pragmatic needs of heritage practice are today.

About the theme for 2021: Complex Pasts: Diverse Futures

Acknowledging global calls for greater inclusion and recognition of diversity, the International Day for Monuments and Sites 2021 invites participants to reflect on, reinterpret, and re-examine existing narratives.

Conservation of cultural heritage requires critical examination of the past, as much as its practice demands provision for the future. Debates on the omission and erasure of certain narratives, and the privileging of particular stories over others, have come to a head in recent years. Addressing contested histories hence involves complex conversations, 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.

ICOMOS wishes to engage in promoting new discourses, different and nuanced approaches to existing historical narratives, to support inclusive and diverse points of view.

For more about the theme, visit the ICOMOS website.

Download the 18 April 2021 leaflet.