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International Day for Monuments and Sites - 18 April 2021 - Events
The theme for the 2021 edition of the International Day for Monuments and Sites is entitled 
"Complex Pasts: Diverse Futures". 

Complex Pasts: Diverse Futures
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.

Uncovering and generating more inclusive narratives can span a wide range of conservation issues, from toppled monuments of oppression within shared civic spaces to the treatment of ancestral sites, and indigenous domains across cultural landscapes. Today, many monuments and sites stand with their multi-layered history and importance which call for inclusive approaches.

In this United Nations Decade of Action for Sustainable Development, ICOMOS recognises the need to put a focus on heritage that represents diverse cultures and communities (SDG10), promotes the equal rights of women and the LGBTQ+ community (SDG5) in order to illustrate a more tolerant and peaceful future (SDG16).

We therefore invite you to join this renewed call to action: fair and just futures require open, tolerant, and empathetic interpretations of heritage philosophies and practices in the present, starting with self-reflection.

The International Day for Monuments and Sites 2021 draws its inspiration from the cross-cutting discourse hosted by ICOMOS initiatives, including but not limited to: the inaugural ‘Diversify/Decolonise Heritage!’ Workshop (launched in July 2020), various symposia dedicated to the themes of ‘Shared Cultures, Shared Heritage, Shared Responsibility’, workshops on Human Rights and Heritage Management, the webinars addressing ‘Indigenous Peoples and World Heritage’ and ‘People + Peace: The Role of Cultural Heritage in Building a More Just and Peaceful World Through Education, Diversity and Community Inclusion’ as examples of the work carried out by ICOMOS Committees and Working Groups on these important issues.

Pathways towards more inclusive narratives have emerged through many existing initiatives, ranging from climate action, rights-based approaches to heritage along with the SDGs Decade of Action, and the Culture-Nature Journey.

The International Day for Monuments and Sites 2021 presents an opportunity to provide an open platform for wide involvement and participation!

Discover below the events planned for the 2021 edition of the International Day for Monuments and Sites by clicking: https://www.icomos.org/en/focus/18-april-international-day-for-monuments-and-sites/91376-international-day-of-monuments-and-sites-18-april-2021-events
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