Heritage Conservation Attitude

Posted by The Open Page | 18th April 2018


Heritage is a legacy from our past. It is something we live with today and, hopefully, something that we can pass on to future generations. In every country, cultural heritage is both a record of life and history and also an irreplaceable source of creativity and inspiration. Our cultural heritage, like our DNA, determines who we are, giving us both identity and the values that will guide our lives in a changing world. A country's heritage is all the qualities, traditions, or features of life there that have continued over many years and have been passed on from one generation to another. 
18 April World Heritage is the shared wealth of humankind. Protecting and preserving this valuable asset demands the collective efforts of the international community. This special day offers an opportunity to raise the public's awareness about the diversity of cultural heritage and the efforts that are required to protect and conserve it, as well as draw attention to its vulnerability.
On 18 April 1982 on the occasion of a symposium organized by ICOMOS in Tunisia, the holding of the "International Day for Monuments and Sites" to be celebrated simultaneously throughout the world was suggested. This project was approved by the Executive Committee who provided practical suggestions to the National Committees on how to organize this day.
The idea was also approved by the UNESCO General Conference who passed 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”. This has been traditionally called the World Heritage Day.
ICOMOS, the International Council for Monuments and Sites makes a number of suggestions on how to celebrate the World Heritage Day:
Visits to monuments and sites, and restoration works, possibly with free admission
Articles in newspapers and magazines, as well as television and radio broadcasts
Hanging banners in town squares or principal traffic arteries calling attention to the day and the preservation of cultural heritage
Inviting local and foreign experts and personalities for conferences and interviews
Organizing discussions in cultural-centers, city halls, and other public spaces
Exhibitions (photos, paintings, etc)
Publication of books, post-cards, stamps, posters
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
Special awareness raising activities amongst school children and youth
Promotion of “twinning” opportunities between organizations, defining areas for co-operation; exchange of speakers; organization of meetings and seminars, or the editing of joint publications.
Inspired by the impact of uncontrolled development and industrialization, it is in its ability to mobilize the popular support of ordinary people who can see and experience the value returns to society; to conserve and enhance the historic environment; broaden public access to the heritage; and increase people’s understanding of the past. The need is the individual cultural differences that have grown out of landscape, language, religion, climate, and helped define each city and its people that reflects the technologies of construction rather than the culture of the inhabitants. 
The city of Ahmedabad is endowed with a rich architectural heritage that is vital to the local identity and continuity of the place. Along with the foremost heritage Indo-Islamic monuments of the 15th to 17th centuries, there are potential heritage precincts in the form of the Pols, the traditional residential clusters of the medieval period, which makes Ahmedabad exceptional. Combining these all, the historic walled city of Ahmedabad has it all to be the first city in India to be inscribed in UNESCO's World Heritage City list of 2017. We all should religiously follow the suggestions coined by the ICOMOS and develop an attitude to device a structure for as many kinds of heritage namely cultural heritage sites (including archaeological sites, ruins, historic buildings), historic cities (urban landscapes and their constituent parts as well as ruined cities), cultural landscapes (including parks, gardens and other ‘modified’ landscapes such as pastoral lands and farms), natural sacred sites (places that people revere or hold important but that have no evidence of human modification, for example sacred mountains), underwater cultural heritage (for example shipwrecks), museums (including cultural museums, art galleries and house museums), movable cultural heritage (objects as diverse as paintings, tractors, stone tools and cameras – this category covers any form of object that is movable and that is outside of an archaeological context), handicrafts, documentary and digital heritage (the archives and objects deposited in libraries, including digital archives), cinematographic heritage (movies and the ideas they convey), oral traditions (stories, histories and traditions that are not written but passed from generation to generation), languages, festive events (festivals and carnivals and the traditions they embody), rites and beliefs (rituals, traditions and religious beliefs), music and song, the performing arts (theatre, drama, dance and music), traditional medicine, literature, culinary traditions, traditional sports and games etc.
We cherish memories of legends who have served the country, given back to the nation, given back to mankind and authenticated their existence – people also have their share in the heritage. They carry the heritage on their shoulders and we must in turn extend our bit contribution and harness the heritage to the current and newer generations. For best illustration here today would be Sir Stephen Hawking who gave so much to the world, has left us to go on heavenly abode, my sincere condolence on his demise. 
Not merely the next gen but even in the present world the so called fabricated lifestyle has no room for the heritage, no time for the un-inherited asset, running behind success, money, position etc WE MUST EVOLVE towards the heritage reserve that cannot be known in one lifetime, I guess. But take as much possible and be a part of the treasure.

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