18 April - Shared Cultures, Shared Heritage, Shared Responsability

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Every year, on the occasion of the International Day of  Monuments and Sites, ICOMOS proposes a theme for the  celebrations and activities to be organised by the ICOMOS  National and International Scientific Committees and by other  organisations that wish to participate. In 2020, the theme is Shared Cultures, Shared Heritage, Shared Responsibility.

Picto téléchargement Download the 18 April 2020 leaflet in: English - French - Spanish.


Why ‘Shared Cultures, Shared Heritage, Shared Responsibility’?

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.

However, the idea of ‘shared’ is intentionally provocative. In an historic sense, cultures and societies have commonly shared cultural practices, ways of doing, and viewpoints. Nevertheless, in some cases these features have been forced upon populations and resisted rather than collectively adopted (e.g., religious beliefs). In other instances knowledge and practice may be closely guarded and thus not shared (e.g., in many Indigenous cultures). Additionally, some heritage items have been destroyed or damaged for what they symbolise (e.g., the Buddhas of Bamiyan), thus resisting any sense of sharing or ideological tolerance. More typically in the work of heritage, the values of places can be contested leading to debates about their conservation (e.g., Sydney’s Sirius building).

In adopting the term ‘shared’, the 2020 International Day for Monuments and Sites invites participants to explore the idea of sharing—and its counterpoints, contestation and resistance—in relation to cultures, heritage and responsibility. It invites reviews of traditional thinking on the topic and seeks new and diverse perspectives and insights that encourage discussion and dialogue.

Connecting with the ICOMOS GA2020

The theme of ‘Shared Cultures, Shared Heritage, Shared Responsibility’ is also the overarching theme of the ICOMOS 20th General Assembly and Scientific Symposium (GA2020) that will take place in Sydney, Australia from 1-10 October 2020. 

How ICOMOS Committees can participate

ICOMOS Committees are invited to organise activities on 18 April related to the Shared Cultures, Shared Heritage, Shared Responsibility theme, with the aim of raising awareness of its values and conservation. Possible activities include conferences, lectures, poster sessions, interviews, press releases, round tables, visits to heritage properties, heritage walks, social media campaigns, etc. ICOMOS Committees are encouraged to invite local communities to participate actively in this celebration.

Thus, the presentations and discussions that take place as part of the 2020 International Day for Monuments and Sites will directly contribute to GA2020 (see Scientific Symposium theme descriptions here).

Sharing via Social Media

18 April is one of the best channels for disseminating ideas for the protection of cultural heritage and communicating on the activities of the day. It allows all of our members and friends to participate in raising awareness and in sharing in that great enthusiasm the 18 April generates.

Committees and organisers of events dedicated to 18 April are invited to post information on their activities on their social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn) and to associate these with the following hashtags:


When appropriate, you can also translate the hashtags into your local languages! This will allow the International Secretariat to identify your posts and share a selection on the official ICOMOS social media accounts:

Twitter                FacebookLogo                220px Instagram logo 2016.svg

You can post photos and information on your events, shared cultures and shared heritage in your countries, and the heritage or practices associated with these, short slideshows or videos (under 30 seconds) or even livestream your events. Make sure to include descriptions, quotes or facts to accompany any image, as well as the hashtags.

Upload your images connected to the theme, and associated heritage or practices, to the ICOMOS Photobank (if you do not already have one, you first need to create an account to do so). In all cases, please make sure that you detain the rights to any images you post.

Let us know about your events!

Please inform the ICOMOS International Secretariat of planned 18 April events at the latest by 18 March 2020 so that we can publish them on the ICOMOS website and share your activities among the members of the worldwide ICOMOS family. Even if you miss the deadline – send us the information.

Please send the information to: calendrier[at]icomos.org using the format below (please use short sentences to enable a concise presentation and mention “18 April event – your Committee” in the email subject line):

  • Title of your event
  • Who? Organizers
  • What? Short presentation of the event
  • When?
  • Where? Country, town, address
  • Official contact
  • Official website
  • Attachments: Poster / leaflet

Contribute to our annual giving campaign

On the occasion of the International Day for Monuments and Sites, ICOMOS will also launch a week of calls for donations. More info available soon!

See also:

Looking back on 18 April 2019 and the theme of rural landscapes

Picto GO TO linkCheck out our Looking back on 18 April 2019 and discover the highlights of this day with our image reports.

Photo: © Comisión Mexicana de Filmaciones / Flickr (Misión Tilaco, Sierra Gorda, Querétaro, Mexico)

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