It is 18 April 2013, and today we celebrate World Heritage Day, also sometimes referred to as the International Day for Monuments and Sites.

‘Heritage’ refers, literally, to something inherited from the past. In the context of World Heritage Day, heritage refers mostly to cultural heritage, the legacy of physical and intangible artefacts and attributes built up through the ages by the people of the world. And monuments and historical sights are the tangible representation of man’s cultural heritage.

Celebrate your heritage while you can  - it's vulnerable and may disappear in the blink of an eye. (© All Rights Reserved)
Celebrate your heritage while you can – it’s vulnerable and may disappear in the blink of an eye. This view of the Christchurch Cathedral Square was forever changed in the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake. The iconic cathedral sadly did not survive the disaster, but the Chalice sculpture by Neil Dawson, a much more recent part of the city’s heritage, remains unharmed.
(© All Rights Reserved)

As stated on the World Heritage Day website, “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.”

So what can you do to celebrate the day? Well, how about visiting local monuments and sites, especially those you may not have visited before, or even those that you’ve come to take for granted. Or read up on the cultural history of your town, your state, your country. Or, for a more exotic touch, find out about interesting monuments and heritage sites in other parts of the world.

No matter what inspires, amuses and entertains you, there’s sure to be a monument to suit you – from truly inspiring monuments around the world, to the downright bizarre and baffling.

It’s all part of our multi-faceted human heritage, so celebrate it!

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