In 1982, the International Council for the Protection of Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) declared April 18 as the International Day for Monuments and Sites. In 1983, this day was approved at the 22nd General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
The International Council for the Protection of Monuments and Sites, an association of professionals, was founded in 1965. The organization unites over 10 thousand individual members from 151 countries of the world, 28 international scientific committees.
ICOMOS 'activities aimed at the preservation and protection of cultural heritage are based on the principles enshrined in the 1964 International Charter for the Preservation and Revitalization of Monuments and Historic Sites (Venice Charter).
The International Day of Monuments and Historic Sites is celebrated annually with the aim of popularizing cultural heritage, raising awareness of its diversity, relevance, degree of vulnerability, as well as the benefits of preserving it. Every year ICOMOS proposes a theme for this day's events.
In 2021, the slogan of the holiday is “Difficult Past: Diverse Future”.
One of the main documents for the protection of cultural heritage is the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, adopted in November 1972 at the General Session of UNESCO. The document came into force in December 1975.
The convention has given definitions of cultural and natural heritage. Cultural heritage is considered to be monuments (architectural and monumental sculptures and paintings, elements or structures of an archaeological nature, inscriptions, cave dwellings), groups of separate or related buildings, objects of human creation or joint works of nature and humans, as well as territories that are of outstanding universal value. from a historical, aesthetic, ethnological or anthropological point of view.
Natural heritage is considered to be natural sites or clearly defined natural areas that are of outstanding universal value from an aesthetic or scientific point of view or natural beauty. Natural heritage also includes geological and physiographic formations and territories that provide habitat for endangered animal and plant species of scientific or conservation value.
The states parties to the convention are obliged to ensure the protection, preservation and transmission to future generations of the cultural and natural heritage located on their territory.
The Convention established an intergovernmental committee for world heritage that compiles and publishes the World Heritage List, a list of cultural and natural heritage values that is updated at least every two years. As of 2020, 194 countries have joined the convention and have become states parties. Currently, the World Heritage List includes 1,121 properties located in 167 member states. In addition to prestige, the status of a UNESCO site means that it has the right to additional guarantees of preservation and integrity, to timely and high-quality restoration, priority in funding, as well as to control the state of preservation.
The USSR ratified the convention in October 1988. The UNESCO World Heritage List includes 29 sites of Russia – 18 cultural and 11 natural. Among them are the historical center of St. Petersburg and related groups of monuments, the Kizhi Pogost, the Moscow Kremlin and Red Square, the Novodevichy Convent Ensemble, the Architectural Ensemble of the Trinity-Sergius Lavra in Sergiev Posad, as well as the Virgin Komi forests, the Golden Mountains of Altai, the volcanoes of Kamchatka and Lake Baikal, etc.
In 2017, the “Landscapes of Dauria” (territories within the international Russian-Mongolian-Chinese reserve “Dauria”), as well as the Assumption Cathedral and the monastery of the island-town of Sviyazhsk, were included in the UNESCO List.
In 2019, the temples of the Pskov School of Architecture were included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
In the history of Russia, taking care of monuments and historical sites became an official matter even under Peter I in 1722, when measures were first taken to protect individual ancient monuments.
The basic law of the Russian Federation in the field of preservation, use and state protection of cultural heritage objects (historical and cultural monuments) is the federal law of June 25, 2002 “On cultural heritage objects (historical and cultural monuments) of the peoples of the Russian Federation”.
State protection of cultural heritage sites is one of the priority tasks of the state authorities of the Russian Federation, authorities of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation and local governments.
Until 2011, in Russia, issues of protection of historical and cultural monuments were under the jurisdiction of the Federal Service for Supervision of Compliance with Legislation in the Field of Protection of Cultural Heritage – Rosokhrankultura. According to the government decree “On the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation”, which entered into force on August 8, 2011, all functions of Rosokhrankultura were transferred to the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation.
By order of December 30, 2014, Russia introduced the Unified State Register of Cultural Heritage Objects (Historical and Cultural Monuments) of the peoples of the Russian Federation. According to the register, there are over 146.4 thousand cultural heritage sites of federal and regional significance in the country.
Various events are dedicated to the International Day of Monuments and Historic Sites – performances by scientists, discussions in cultural centers and city halls, photo exhibitions and drawing contests.
Since 2000, Moscow has held the Days of Historical and Cultural Heritage on April 18 every year, within the framework of which residents and guests of the capital have a unique opportunity to see the interiors of old mansions and estates, access to which is usually limited. In 2020, in response to the coronavirus pandemic, Heritage Days were held online. In 2021, the Days of Historical and Cultural Heritage will be held in a traditional format.
The material was prepared on the basis of information from RIA Novosti and open sources