World Heritage Day: 18 April
A World Heritage Site is a landmark which has been officially recognized by the United Nations, specifically by UNESCO. Sites are selected on the basis of having cultural, historical, scientific or some other form of significance, and they are legally protected by international treaties. UNESCO regards these sites as being important to the collective interests of humanity.
As of July 2016, 1052 sites are listed: 814 cultural, 203 natural, and 35 mixed properties, in 165 states parties. According to the sites ranked by country, Italy is home to the greatest number of World Heritage Sites with 51 sites, followed by China (50), Spain (45), France (42), Germany (41), India (35) and Mexico (34). UNESCO references each World Heritage Site with an identification number.
World Heritage Day History
On 18 April 1982 on the occasion of a symposium organised 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 organise 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.