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World Heritage Day

  • 19 Apr 2021
  • 3 min read

Why in News

Every year, 18th April is celebrated as ‘International Day for Monuments and Sites’, also known as ‘World Heritage Day’.

  • The theme for the year 2021 is “Complex Pasts: Diverse Futures”.

Key Points

  • Background:
    • The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) established the day in 1982 and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) approved it in 1983.
    • The aim of the Day is to create awareness about Heritage among communities.
  • UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites:
    • A World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by UNESCO for its special cultural or physical significance.
    • The list of World Heritage Sites is maintained by the international 'World Heritage Programme', administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee.
    • This is embodied in an international treaty called the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, adopted by UNESCO in 1972.
  • World Heritage Sites in India:
    • Currently, there are 38 World Heritage Sites located in India.
    • Of these, 30 are ‘cultural’, such as the Ajanta Caves, Fatehpur Sikri, Hampi monuments and the Mountain Railways of India, and 7 are ‘Natural’, including Kaziranga, Manas and Nanda Devi National Parks.
      • In 2019, ‘Jaipur City’ became the 38th addition to the India list under ‘Culture’.
    • One is classified as ‘Mixed’, the Khangchendzonga National Park.



  • It is a global non-governmental organization associated with UNESCO. It is located in Paris, France.
  • Its mission is to promote the conservation, protection, use and enhancement of monuments, building complexes and sites.
  • It is an Advisory Body of the World Heritage Committee for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention of UNESCO.
    • As such, it reviews the nominations of cultural world heritage and ensures the conservation status of properties.
  • Its creation in 1965 is the logical outcome of initial conversations between architects, historians and international experts that began in the early twentieth century and that materialized in the adoption of the Venice Charter in 1964.

Source: IE

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