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International Day for Monuments and Sites

Topics Covered: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.

International Day for Monuments and Sites:


Every year, the United Nations marks April 18 as the International Day for Monuments and Sites.

In many countries the day is also celebrated as World Heritage Day.

  • The theme for this year is “Complex Pasts: Diverse Futures”.
  • Globally, the day is promoted by the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS).

What is a World Heritage site?

  • These sites are officially recognised by the UN and the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation, also known as UNESCO. UNESCO believes that the sites classified as World Heritage are important for humanity, and they hold cultural and physical significance.
  • The list is maintained by the international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 UNESCO member states which are elected by the General Assembly.
  • Each World Heritage Site remains part of the legal territory of the state wherein the site is located and UNESCO considers it in the interest of the international community to preserve each site.


To be selected, a World Heritage Site must be an already classified landmark, unique in some respect as a geographically and historically identifiable place having special cultural or physical significance.

Heritage sites in India:

  • India is home to 38 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, out of the 1121 such spots identified around the world.
  • Of these, 30 are ‘cultural’ and 7 are ‘Natural’. One is classified as ‘Mixed’, the Khangchendzonga National Park.
  • In 2019, ‘Jaipur City’ became the 38th addition to the India list under Culture.
  • So far, only China, Italy, Spain, Germany, and France have more locations on the list than India.


Prelims Link:

  1. Who declares a site as world heritage site?
  2. What is endangered list?
  3. What is tentative list?
  4. WHS in India and their locations?

Sources: Indian Express.