Presentation of this year's theme: the World Heritage

 Author: Alfredo Conti, Chair, ICOMOS World Heritage Working Group - [English] - [Français] - [Español]

Bibliographies by the ICOMOS Documentation Centre

World Heritage Properties:

By regions
- World Heritage in Asia and Pacific 2011 (August 2011)
- World Heritage in Latin America and the Caribbean 2011 (Augustt 2011)
- World Herigage in the Arab States (August 2011)
- World Heritage in Africa (August 2011)

By Categories of cultural heritage
- World Heritage Historic Gardens 2011 (Augustt 2011)
- World Heritage Cultural Landscapes 2011 (Augustt 2011)
- Industrial and Technical Heritage in the World Heritage List 2011 (Augustt 2011)
- World Heritage Urban Sites 2011 - Part I (countries from A to J)
Part II (countries from K to Y) (August 2011)
- Modern Heritage Properties (19th and 20th Centuries) on the World Heritage List 2011 (August 2011)
- Rock art sites in the World Heritage list - 2011 (August 2011)
- World Heritage Hominid Sites (August 2011)



While each year there is a specific theme for the 18th April, each National Committee is free to choose a theme that is most relevant to highlight the heritage issues in their nation or region. Below are a number of general suggestions for nationally organized activities to mark this event:

Opening of the exhibition on the Heritage of Astronomy, ICOMOS Doc Centre, 18 April 2009Visits

  • Specific visits designed for School Children, Youth, Students and young professionals of the field, Experts, the General Public
  • to :

  • Monuments and Sites
  • Conservation works in progress
  • Completed projects
  • organized by the National Committee through its Scientific and Regional committees emphasizing local issues that require attention, support and/or promotion among the community, authorities and experts.

    Spreading knowledge

    • Written: Articles in newspapers and magazines
    • Media: Television and radio broadcasts
    • Publicity: Hanging banners in town squares, principal traffic arteries, universities, related organizations, museums, cultural centers, libraries, cafeterias, calling attention to this day and to the preservation of cultural heritage through the reference of local and/or international examples.
    • Talks for Youth, Students and young professionals of the field, Experts, the General Public


    • Inviting local or foreign experts, personalities academics, students and the community.
    • Organizing discussions in cultural centers, city halls, and other public spaces
    • Exhibitions and competitions of photography, drawings, paintings, etc.
    • Publication of books, postcards, stamps, posters, etc.
    • Awarding prizes to organizations or persons who have made an outstanding contribution to the conservation and promotion of cultural heritage or produced an excellent publication on the subject.
    • Inaugurate a recently restored monument or rehabilitated site.
    • Promotion of “twinning” opportunities between various National Committees, defining areas for co-operation; exchange of speakers; organization of meetings and seminars, or the editing of joint publications.
    • The international Scientific Committee could be invited to debate around the chosen theme.

    The essential aspect is to mark this day so that it becomes not only a day to celebrate your National Heritage, but also a day of International Solidarity in favor of strengthening and safeguarding Heritage world-wide.



    If you are planning an event linked to 18 April or its theme – please inform the International Secretariat as soon as possible. 




    On 18 April 1982, on the occasion of a symposium organized by ICOMOS Tunisia and a corresponding meeting of the Bureau in Hammamet, it was suggested that a day be established to celebrate the diversity of heritage throughout the world. From this idea, the International Day for Monuments and Sites was born. This project was approved by the Executive Committee who also provided practical suggestions to the National Committees on how to organize this day.

    The UNESCO General Conference adopted the concept by passing a resolution at its 22nd session in November 1983 recommending that Member States examine the possibility of declaring 18 April each year “International Monuments and Sites Day”.

    While many countries and regions have established heritage days, such as the European Heritage Days celebrated each year in September, the International Day for Monuments and Sites presents an opportunity for all ICOMOS National Committees to advocate their shared cause together on the same day.

    At the revival of this day in 2001, ICOMOS President Michael Petzet and the Executive Committee proposed that the 18th of April be used by all Committees to draw attention to a particularly endangered type of cultural heritage in conjunction with the annual Heritage at Risk report. Every year a growing number of ICOMOS National Committees all over the world are holding special events on the 18th April.


    18 April / 18 avril 2001:

    Save our historic villages / Sauver nos villages historiques [English] - [Français] - [Español]


    18 April /18 avril 2002:

    20th Century Heritage / Le patrimoine du XXème siècle [English] - [Français]


    18 April / 18 avril 2003:

    Underwater Cultural Heritage / Patrimoine culturel subaquatique  [English] - [Français] - [Español]


    18 April / 18 avril 2004

    Earthen Architecture and Heritage / Architecture et patrimoine en terre [English] - [Français] - [Español]

    Additional information